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BART., C.B., D.C.L. 









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THE ancient and famous nations of the world have 
ever cherished carefully the traditions of their early 
history. Sometimes these traditions strike the key- 
note of a great destiny ; sometimes they furnish the 
inspiration which secures it. In either case they are 
among the most valuable of national assets. 

A young country does well to take careful note, 
in like manner, of all that is best in its past. The 
figures in the history may or may not be of heroic 
stature the work done may or may not be on a 
grand scale. But it is foundation work, the sig- 
nificance of which grows with the lapse of time. 
Fortunate the State which, looking back upon its 
early builders, finds their characters stamped with 
the unquestioned hall-mark of truth and honour- 
finds their actions controlled by clear purpose and 
high principle. As an example and an inspiration 
the memory of such builders cannot be too care- 
fully preserved or too closely studied. 

It is with this thought in my mind that I 
commend, to Canadian youth particularly, this 
biography of Sir John Beverley Robinson, as that 
of a man whose private character and public service 
establish a standard to which they may aspire with 
boundless advantage to themselves and to their 
country. Never, it seems to me, could it better be- 
come our young men to hold before them so high 
a standard for admiration and emulation than at 


the present time, when the great future that lies 
before Canada is gradually unfolding itself, and we 
begin to realise how large a place, as the greatest 
daughter nation connected with the Empire, she is 
destined to take in the world. 

We Canadians have reason to be content with 
the beginnings of our country's history. In them 
may be found all the charm of romance, the fervour 
of patriotism, the severe glory of suffering and self- 
sacrifice on behalf of ideals. 

Over the early history of French Canada the 
zeal of the Jesuit missionary, the daring of the 
adventurous explorer, the chivalry of the French 
courtier, have thrown a glamour of poetic charm 
which gathers depth of colour with the lapse of 
years, and furnishes a striking and brilliant back- 
ground to the somewhat prosaic conditions of 
modern life and progress. 

The great struggle which marked the end of 
this period, and led to the fall of the French power 
on the American Continent, was a conflict of 
giants : on either side leaders who were masters in 
war and in statesmanship ; followers stamped with 
the stubborn courage of two of the world's strongest 
races, and hardened by the rough life of the New 
World. French and British Canadian alike can 
read with honourable pride a page of history illumi- 
nated by the genius of Wolfe, the chivalric heroism 
of Montcalm, and the bravery of soldiers who held 
life cheap in the service of King and Country. 

Under the British flag this heritage of noble 
tradition was immeasurably enlarged. When the 
Revolution of 1775-83 severed the other colonies 
of England in America from the mother land, 
Canada received most of those who in the revolted 


colonies had remained loyal, amid defeat and perse- 
cution, to the old flag and to British institutions. 
These Loyalists, driven or self-exiled for conscience' 
sake from the land of their birth, kindled in Canada 
that passionate attachment to the idea of a United 
Empire which has controlled the policy of the 
country for more than a century, is a dominant 
force in its politics to-day, and has contributed 
more, perhaps, than any other single factor to 
determine the future of the Empire itself. 

The war of 1812 followed to test the strength 
of this attachment. In this war the Loyalist of 
Upper Canada and the Frenchman of Lower 
Canada were knit together in resistance to unjusti- 
fied aggression. By the unyielding courage then 
displayed in the face of what seemed overwhelm- 
ing odds, the territorial integrity of Canada and 
the security of the Empire in America were honour- 
ably maintained. Again, when rebellion reared its 
head in 1837, and a discontented minority hoped 
to repeat the experience of 1775, the forces of 
loyalty were strong enough to assert, once for all, 
a superiority which has never since been questioned. 

Thus two centuries of struggle and adventure 
lend picturesqueness to the birth of Canada, and 
furnish ample material for an inspiring history. 

But the toils and triumphs of peace are not less 
honourable or less important than those of war. 

The career of Sir John Robinson links together 
that stirring period of 1812-14 when the fate of the 
country was decided by force of arms, and the later 
constructive stage when, in Legislature and Law 
Court, were laid the social and political founda- 
tions of a vast and peaceful State, self-governing and 
mistress of its own destiny, but yet holding firmly 


to the principles of national life in which it was 
cradled. His boyhood was one fitted to develop 
strength of character. His father, who had wrecked 
his fortunes by adherence to the British cause in 
Virginia, died when he was quite young. Thus he 
early learned those hard lessons of poverty and 
adversity, so common in the pioneer life of a new 
country so useful in the cultivation of qualities 
which make for success. 

A fortunate chance placed him in school days 
under the care and guidance of Dr. Strachan, a 
man whose masculine intellect has left a profound 
impression upon the educational, ecclesiastical, and 
political life of Upper Canada. It impressed the 
individual scholar as well. The stern disciplinarian 
was also the devoted friend, and the perfect candour 
of intercourse between the two men exhibits an 
almost ideal relationship between teacher and pupil. 
From this strong master young Robinson seems to 
have caught much of the deep sense of Christian 
duty, the unusual capacity for labour, and the 
habits of accurate thought, which marked his whole 
subsequent life. 

The weighty responsibilities of manhood were 
quickly thrust upon him. Before he was twenty- 
one he had served with distinction under General 
Brock, the especial hero of Canadian history, with 
whom he was present at the surrender of Detroit, 
and at the battle of Queenston Heights, where 
Brock fell. He had also in the same year been 
named as Acting Attorney- General for Upper 
Canada, after the death of the Attorney-General, j 
who fell in the same battle. 

When the war was over he betook himself to / < 
England to complete his legal studies and to im- j 


prove his mental equipment by foreign travel. To 
the responsible and bracing experiences of his Cana- 
dian life he now added, as these records show, 
familiarity with much of what was best in the 
social, legal, and political atmosphere of the mother 
land. Thus it was that the vigour and independ- 
ence of thought begotten of pioneer life in the new 
world were supplemented in him by an old world 
breadth of experience and courtesy of manner which 
added to his power and charm, and which are said 
to influence even to the present day the Bench and 
Bar of his native province. 

Returning to Canada, he was appointed Attorney- 
General in 1818 and elected to the House of Assembly 
in 1821. Rising steadily through the various stages 
of professional success he became in 1829 Chief- 
Justice of Upper Canada, and in virtue of that office, 
President of the Executive, and Speaker of the Legis- 
lative Council. The last two positions he vacated in 
the course of a few years, as the system of responsible 
government became more clearly defined ; the Chief- 
Justiceship he filled for thirty-three years, until he 
became President of the Court of Appeal in 1862, 
the year before his death. How his judicial duties 
were performed may be inferred from two notes in 
his memoranda made in 1854, the one recording the 
fact that in the previous twenty-four years there 
had only been five appeals to England from the 
decisions of his court, and that not one of these 
had been reversed ; the second mentioning that in 
these twenty-four years there had been absolutely 
no arrears in his department of the judicial business 
of the country. This record, noted with modest 
pride, has probably few parallels in the judicial 
history of Canada, or of Greater Britain. 


Of his legislative activities only the merest out- 
line can find place in a sketch such as this. But 
the references to his connection with such vexed 
questions as the Rebellion of 1837, Lord Selkirk's 
erratic government in the Hudson Bay Territory, 
the Clergy Reserves, Lord Durham's report, and 
the Union of Upper and Lower Canada, will be 
read with deep interest for the sake of the side- 
lights thrown upon Canadian history at one of its 
most critical periods. His influence in the decision 
of many Canadian questions was of a twofold kind. 
Sundry public missions on which he was sent to 
England, and a longer visit caused by ill-health, 
brought him much in contact with the leaders of 
English thought and politics. Thus while his inti- 
mate knowledge of affairs and the strength and 
sincerity of his convictions commanded public con- 
fidence and the respect even of opponents in Canada, 
his opinions had also great weight in England, 
where he was freely consulted by the Duke of 
Wellington, Colonial Ministers, and others responsible 
for the direction of Imperial policy. In giving advice 
he furnished no ground even for the suspicion that 
he would sacrifice for Imperial interests any just 
right of his colony. His example is an abiding 
proof that loyalty to the Empire as a whole is not 
inconsistent with loyalty to any of its parts. 

A biography like this brings out in strongest 
relief the supreme value of character in public as 
in private life. Personal and family detail may be 
of limited interest : this broader teaching goes to the 
root of national welfare. Characters such as that 
of Sir John Beverley Robinson give distinction and 
dignity to a country's history. 



i -HA I'. PAGE 



III. CLOHNG YKM<> OF THI WAR, 1813-15 . . 53 

IV. LlFL IN K\(. LAND - OCTOBER 1815 TO AUGUST 18l6 79 


AM) IN S)TL\M), ETC. - 1816-1 7 . . . 105 



> ........ 135 


( Con h fined) 1824--JS ..... l6l 


(THE CANADIAN REBELLION) 1829-38 . . 199 


Afl TO CONFEDERATION, ETC. 1838-40 . . 237 


OCTOBER 1838 TO DECEMBER 1839 . . .270 


DECEMBER 1839 TO APRIL 1840 . . . 293 

XII. JUDICIAL LIFE HOME LIFE 1840-51 . . . 313 


COLLEGE ........ 342 





ETC. 1855 364 


ERROR AND APPEAL 1856-63 .... 392 



INDEX . 477 


JOHN BEVERLEY ROBINSON (photogravure) Frontispiece 

JOHN BEVERLEY ROBINSON (photogravure) To face p. 101 
(After a miniature, by Herw, London, 181 0.) 



Page 23, line 12, for " Job xxvii. 6," read " Job xxvii. 5 and 6." 
Pages 171 and 172, for " Sir Griffin Wilson " read " Sir Giffin 

Wilson. 1 





Introductory Family Parentage School and student life Christopher 

Kohin>on Colonel I'everley I\ohin>on and his sons Chri>toplier 
Rohinson, "Quern's Hangers" The Rev. John Say re. Dr. Stuart, 
Mr. Strarhan, .lud^e Houlton, Colonel Maedonell -- The United 
Knipire Loyalists : their position after tlie Re\-olutionary War - 
letter from General Israel Putnam Christopher Robinson's death : 
his children Dr. Stuart's and Mr. Straehan's kindness John 
lieverley Rohinson placed at school under the latter Letters from 
Dr. Stuart School life at Cornwall -Address of Mr. Strarhan to his 
pupils : their presentation of plate to him in after years Enters 
Mr. Boultoifs office Letters of Mr. Strarhan and I>r. Stuart Mr. 
lioulton taken prisoner hy the 1'Yeneh Death of Dr. Stuart and 
K-ther Kohinson Knters Colonel Maedonell's office The Macdonells 
of (ilentrarry Aet> as Clerk of the House of Assembly instead of Mr. 
Donald Mat-lean Vote of the House. 

MANY of those who knew my father have expressed 
their regret that in Canada, where he lived and died, 
and with a part of whose history he was so intimately 
connected, no Life or very complete Memoir of him 
has hitherto been published. 

This has led to my putting these pages together, 
but I am very sensible of the disadvantages which must, 
in some respects, attend their being written by a son. 

I have, therefore, preferred to let the story of 
his life be told, as far as practicable, either in his 


own words through his writings, speeches, and 
journals l or in those of others, through their letters 
to or notices of him. 

He left behind him, partly for the information 
of his children, a memorandum, written in the later 
years of his life, and touching upon certain portions 
of it. It was in no sense an autobiography, and it 
must be borne in mind that it was not intended by 
him for publication in any shape. This I have largely 
quoted from, placing usually near the beginning of 
each chapter what he himself has written respecting 
the events referred to in it, and adding to that 
whatever may seem of interest in connection with 
his account, and tend to bring the whole into a con- 
tinuous narrative. Some matters more of purely 
family than of general interest, but which it may be 
convenient for his descendants to have a record of, I 
have placed apart in Appendix B. 

To enter into every event affecting Canada in 
which he bore a part has not been attempted or 
possible in the space of these pages ; and, in allud- 
ing to those principal questions which in their day 
aroused strong feeling and controversy, I have en- 
deavoured to write in the spirit which he would 
have approved. 

A man of deep and consistent convictions himself, 
and for many years in Canada the leader of a party 
in Parliament, he was necessarily often in opposition 
to others. What I think he would have wished his 
descendants to claim for him is that, when he was 
so, he believed that he was in the right, and that, 
throughout his life, he never deviated, by word or 

1 When away from home, he was in the habit of regularly keeping- a 
journal, but not at other times. 


act, from what his conscience dictated to be his 
duty towards his country. But, while I do claim 
this, I willingly concede to his political opponents 
convictions as sincere as his own. 

My Ft it her*.* Account of hi* Family and Early Life. 

first of our family to COMIC to America was Christopher 
Robinson, who was Private Secretary to the Governor of 
Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, ami continued in that colony 
till his death about 1(19;>. lie was the son of John Robinson 
of Cleasby, in York>hire, and elder brother of Dr. John 
Kobinson, Bishop of Bristol and afterwards of London, who 
was the British Plenipotentiary at the Treaty of Utrecht in 
1713, and for some years Briti>h Minister to Sweden, of which 
country he wrote an account. I believe he was the last ecclesi- 
a>tic \\ho was so employed. 1 

Christopher Robinson had a son John, who became President 

of the Council of Virginia, ami married Catherine, daughter of 

Robert 1! by whom he had many sons. One of these 

.'ell known in Virginia as Speaker of the House of Burgesses, 

as it was then called. 

Another, the youngest, w.isBeyerlev, who, having sought his 
fortunes in New York, became a merchant there, and married 
a daughter of Frederick Philipse, with whom he acquired a 
large properlv, situated on the Hudson River, that would now 
have been a possession of immense value, but which he forfeited 
by his adherence to the Crown in the Revolutionary War. 2 

lie raised a regiment of his tenantry called "The King's 
Loval Americans" 1 which he commanded during the war, and 
the officers and men at the peace settled in Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, and Canada. Some account of him is given in the 
Gentleman s Ma^a::ine for the year 1792, in the obituary of 

1 Some further account of Christopher and Dr. John Robinson is 

in Appendix B., I. and 11. The former died as Secretary lor the Colony 
of Virginia. 

His house, Beverley House on the Hudson, was the scene of some 
interesting events in the war, and at one time the headquarters of 
Washington (see Appendix B., II.). 


May in that year. He himself died at Bath, having removed 
to England after the war. 

A more particular account of him is to be found in Sabine's 
" History of the American Loyalists/ 1 

The late General Sir Frederick, and Commissary- General 
Sir William Robinson 1 were both sons of Colonel Beverley 
Robinson, and he had others, who removed to New Brunswick, 
where their descendants now are numerous. 

My father (Christopher), born and brought up in Virginia, 
was the son of one 2 of the many brothers of Colonel Beverley 
Robinson, and being a youth at William and Mary College in 
Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia during the Revolutionary 
War, he left college and made his way to the British army, and 
afterwards to his uncle, Colonel Beverley Robinson, in whose 
family he resided until he received a commission from Sir Henry 
Clinton in Colonel Simcoe's Legion, 3 as it was called. 

He served in this corps till the peace, and then removed 
with other Loyalists to New Brunswick. He was the only one 
of his own branch of the family who adhered to the royal 
cause, and he became in consequence entirely estranged and 
separated from them. In New Brunswick he married, in 
1784, 4 the daughter of the Rev. John Sayre, one of two 
brothers who had been sent as missionaries to the American 
Colonies by the Society for Propagating the Gospel, and of 
whom Mr. Stokes, his Majesty's Chief Justice of Georgia, 
thus speaks in his book upon the constitution of the British 
Colonies in North America and the West Indies at the time 
of the breaking out of the Civil War on the continent of 
America. 6 

1 See Appendix B., III. 

' 2 \Villiain Kobius.Mi, born about 1763, of the county of Spotsylvania 
in Virginia. 

3 IH- commission is dated June 26, 1781, and it appears in a letter 
from liis widow to Sir John Weutworth that he was then eighteen 
years of ;i:re. Sec Appendix A., IV., for some further particulars as 
to the corps of " Queen's Rangers" (or Colonel Simcoe's "Legion"). 
Its proper designation was "The 1st American Regiment or Queen's 
lt-i Hirers." 

4 At Maugerville, near Fredericton. The Rev. John Sayre died there 
in the same year. 

" A View of the Constitution of the British Colonies in North America 
and the West Indies," by Anthony Stokes, p. 200. London, 1783. 


After describing some of the clergy, whom he says he 
had heard with great edification in America, as men \\lio 
delivered themselves with that xeal which distinguishes those 
who i'eel what they preach to others, Mr. Stokes says : 
"Amongst men of this primitive stamp I should mention 
Mr. Learning and the two Say res from Connecticut, were it 
not that good men are dead to the applause of the world, and 
look for their reward in another Country, where merit will not 
he mistaken or overlooked. 11 

In 17cS8 Christopher Robinson (then on half-pay of the 
Queen's Rangers) removed to Lower Canada, and in 179^ 
came to Upper Canada with his family, and lived at Kingston 
till 1798. He was called to the liar, and practised there, and 
held also the situation of Deputy Ranger of his Majesty's 
Woods and Forests in Upper Canada, under a deputation from 
Sir John Wentworth of Nova Scotia an office of very trifling 

In October 1798 he removed to York (now Toronto), 
which had not long before been made the seat of Government, 
and died there three weeks after his arrival, leaving a family 
of young children 1 (for he lived to be but thirty-four years 
of age), and not having a relation of any degree in Canada. 

He became a Bencher of the Law Society, and was, at the 
time of his death, a Member of the House of Assembly, repre- 
sent ing the Counties of Lennox and Addington, having been 
elected to the second Parliament that sat in Upper Canada. 

Three years ago (in 1851), when I went to Richmond, I 
spent ten days in Virginia. It was the first visit that any 
of my father's family had made there in the seventy years 
which had passed since he forsook his home to join the British 

When my father died at York in 1798, the Rev. Dr. 
Stuart, who had been an intimate friend of his, proposed that 
I should go with him to Kingston, and attend the Grammar 
School there kept by Mr. Strachan, who afterwards moved to 
Cornwall, of which he had been appointed Rector. 

So at that early period of life, I had two excellent 

1 Sir John Beverley Robinsoii was the second son. 


examples. One, Dr. Stuart, universally esteemed and re- 
spected, in whose family it was impossible to be even as a 
child, as I was attending constantly to his remarks as to 
what an honest man could do, and could not do, without 
benefiting by it. 

The other, Mr. Strachan to the inestimable advantage 
of receiving instruction under whom I feel perfectly certain 
I owe the success I had at an early period of life. 

I learnt from him what generosity of character and con- 
duct meant, and saw in him constantly exemplified all that 
it was most important a young man should see. 

I was fortunate also in the next step I took. If I have 
any merit in getting on harmoniously with my brethren at the 
Bar and on the Bench, I owe it in a certain degree to having 
been at an early period of life, when I commenced my legal 
studies, under the care of the late Judge Boulton, who was 
then Solicitor-General of the province. 

On a journey to England he was taken prisoner by the 
French, and it became necessary for me to complete under some 
one else the period for which I was articled as a law student. 

I then placed myself under Colonel Macdonell Acting 
Attorney-General and Aide-de-Camp to General Brock who 
fell at Queenston, a most honourable and high-minded man. 

The foregoing sketch passes over in few words 
the circumstances of privation and difficulty in which 
the United Empire Loyalists, of whom Christopher 
Robinson of the Queen's Rangers was one, were 
placed at the conclusion of the War of American 

In Canada the history of these pioneers of the 
Upper Province is well known, but for others than 
Canadians it may be necessary to say that the United 
Empire Loyalists were those who endeavoured to 
preserve the unity of the Empire when the Ameri- 
can Colonies now the United States rose in arms 
against the Crown. 


From conviction they adhered to the royal 
cause, and fought for it. When it was lost some 
returned to England, and many settled in Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper Canada. 

There they contributed largely to build up again 
the Empire as it exists to-day in the Canadian 

The people of Canada many of them descend- 
ants of these men have now lived for more than 
a century along an extended border-line of hundreds 
of miles side by side with those of the very pros- 
perous Republic of the United States; and some 
occasionally, both in England and elsewhere, have 
pointed out that it would be to their interest to join 
it. But the people generally have never thought so ; 
their attachment to British institutions is deep-rooted, 
and it is not too much to say that this is due, next 
to the intrinsic value of these institutions in them- 
selves, to the principles and traditions handed down 
by the United Empire Loyalists. 

The choice which the Loyalists had made, and 
never regretted having made, had led to great 
hardships, to the forfeiture of fortune, the loss 
of home, and, in many cases, to the complete 
rupture of close family ties. To be compelled, with 
slender resources, to begin life anew in England 
or the British provinces, involving in many cases 
building their log houses in the uncleared forest 
in the depth of winter, must have severely tested 
that fortitude which enabled them to rise superior 
to their trials. 

The feeling between those members of a family 
who had taken opposite sides in the American War 
of Independence was frequently bitter in the extreme. 


Hundreds of miles of wilderness then intervened 
between Canada and Virginia, and from the day on 
which Christopher Robinson joined the Queen's 
Rangers no communication of any sort seems to 
have been kept up by him with his relations in 
Virginia. The only private letters of his which 
have been preserved (as far as I have been able 
to ascertain) are to his cousin, Robert Robin- 
son, 1 who had settled in Nova Scotia, and who, 
like himself, had served on the side of the Crown, 
and to Colonel Simcoe, his old commanding officer. 

When he first went to Lower Canada, he lived 
at L'Assomption, afterwards moving to Berthier, 
where my father was born, and it was on account 
of Colonel Simcoe coming out as Governor to Upper 
Canada that he removed to Kingston in 1792, and 
afterwards to York (Toronto), where he had previously 
arranged for a log house to be built for him a little 
east of where the river Don enters Lake Ontario. 
He died November 2, 1798, and was buried in the 
garrison burial-ground. 

His name appears in records as mover or seconder 
of several public measures in the House of Assembly 
in York, such as for the establishment of a market, 
for laying down boundary lines between townships, 
and for revising the Act 34 Geo. III., regulating the 
practice of the Court of King's Bench. 

His early death (when my father was seven years 
of age) was caused by an acute attack of gout, aggra- 
vated, I have heard, by cold and exposure while 

My father, alluding to him in one of his memo- 

1 A son of John Robinson of Hewick, Middlesex County, Virginia, a 
first cousin of Colonel Beverley Robinson. 


randa, says, "I can just recollect that lie was very 
tall, and had fair hair and a light complexion." 

I have heard him say also that he could well 
recollect walking with his mother to the funeral along 
the Indian path, and through the forest, which then 
intervened between the Don and the cemetery, and 
which is now the city of Toronto. 

Christopher Robinson, writing to Robert Robin- 
son on July C, 1793, tells him of the distress 
which Colonel Simcoe, "the first and best friend 
I ever met with since I left my Virginia con- 
nections," had found him in, when he came out as 
Governor; and how comparatively happy he was 
then with his half-pay, " a salary of 7s. Od. a day 
as Deputy Surveyor-General of \Voods and For* 
Is. :3d. for a ration, and 2000 acres of wild land." 

Later on, in 1795, writing to Colonel Simcoe, 
he speaks of having no connections or relations to 
apply to "were I so disposed, having forfeited their 
friendship by my political principles"; and he adds, 
I was bom to better prospects." 

After his early perhaps imprudently early- 
marriage in 1784, 1 when he first moved with his 
young family to Lower Canada, he was entirely 
dependent upon his half-pay as a subaltern, and his 
own exertions. 

It is interesting for any descendant of the LTnited 
Empire Loyalists to read the official reports filed 
in the Record Office, Treasury, &c., in England, 
of the Commissioners appointed by Parliament to 
inquire into the losses and services of the American 

1 He was not quite twenty-one years of age. Colonel Beverley 
Robinson, writing from England in July 1784 to his daughter, says that 
he has " heard of Kit Robinson's marriage," and adds, " 1 am sorry for 
and vexed with him for being so imprudent." 


Loyalists. The delay in awarding them compensa- 
tion, pending the investigation of their claims, must 
have caused, in some cases, much distress to them ; 
and their services and sacrifices were in many 
instances no doubt inadequately recognised, and 
too soon forgotten. 

The British Government was not, however, as 
has been sometimes asserted, ungrateful, and did not 
neglect their claims which amounted to millions 
sterling but it did not do more, and could not 
reasonably, perhaps, have been expected to do more, 
than indemnify them partially for their losses. 

Colonel Beverley Robinson is an instance of the 
very heavy losses sustained by some. He, his wife, 
and his eldest son had all been attainted by name 
of treason, and banished by an Act of the Legislature 
of New York, for having been active adherents of 
the King of Great Britain, and their whole real and 
personal estate confiscated. Four sons fought with 
him on the side of the Crown three in his own 

Sir Henry Clinton, Commander-in-Chief of the 
British forces during the war, bore the following high 
testimony before the Commissioners to his services : 

Colonel Beverley Robinson was appointed to the command 
of a regiment composed chiefly of his own tenants, at the head 
of which he distinguished himself upon several occasions, and 
particularly at the storming of Fort Montgomery on October 
0, 1777, the command of that attack having devolved upon 
him after Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was killed. 

His zealous and very active services rendered him very 
obnoxious to the enemy, insomuch that of all other men he 
is perhaps the least likely now to receive any favour at 
their hands. 

He likewise offered himself to do the very same service 


that Major Andre afterwards did with respect to Mr. Arnold; 
and with regard to Intelligence 1 he was at the head of it. 

I am of opinion that he rendered the most essential services 
to the Government. It is impossible to speak too highly 
of him. 

The " service with respect to Mr. Arnold," which 
Sir Henry Clinton alludes to, was the conferring 
with General Benedict Arnold, who was ready to 
betray West Point to the British, and which led 
subsequently to the tragic death of Major Andre, 
Adjutant-General of the army, whom (as Sir Henry 
Clinton says in another paper) he employed, as Colonel 
Bevcrley Robinson could not be spared. 

One of the officials entrusted by the Commis- 
sioners to report to them upon Colonel Beverley 
Robinson's claims, says : 

In respect to this case, I find that there was not a Loyalist 
more respectable as a private gentleman, or more the object 
of jealousy as a British adherent in the eyes of the Americans 
than Colonel IJeverlev Robinson a man of candour and prin- 
ciple, and universally beloved. Great pains were taken by the 
fir.>t and most leading men of that time to bring him over to 
the patriotic faction. 

And Sir Guy Carlcton, afterwards Lord Dor- 
chester, who succeeded Sir Henry Clinton as Com- 
mander-in-Chief, in giving Colonel Beverley Robinson 
a letter to Sir George Yonge, Secretary of State in 
England, says : 

June 17, 17B.S. 

Colonel Beverley Robinson of the Loyal American Regiment 
is a gentleman of distinguished probity and worth, and whose 
possesMons in this country were very large. 

1 That is, the Intelligence Department of the army. He was at one 
time in command of a corps of "Guides and Pioneers," and was often 
attached to Sir Henry Clinton's staff. 


The violence of the times compels him, accompanied by the 
female part of his family, to seek aid and protection in England 
at a period of life very ill corresponding with such a change of 
land, but his unshaken loyalty and fidelity have been such as 
to leave him in the present moment of violence and rage no 
other resort. 

I beg leave to recommend him to your favourable notice 
and protection. 1 

In his own statement to the Commissioners 
Colonel Beverley Robinson valued his confiscated 
estates (about 60,000 acres in the province of New 
York, and some city property, which, after coming 
to him through his wife, Susannah Philipse, had 
been much improved by his own exertions) at about 
114,000 New York currency, or 64,000 sterling: 
an exceptionally large fortune at that period. 

That this estimate was not excessive is to be 
inferred from the fact that it was concurred in by 
several independent witnesses, examined on oath, 
and that some valued it as high as 140,000 cur- 
rency. There was, in addition, the personal estate 
of about 16,000. 

The compensation which the Commissioners re- 
commended in Colonel Beverley Robinson's case was 
about 24,000 sterling, but it appears that in the end 
he received about 17,000. 

He had a large family, and for years after the 
war was in very straitened circumstances. 

It may be mentioned that of the family of Philipse, 
descended from Adolph Valipse who early in the 
seventeenth century had acquired immense tracts 
of land near or on the site of New York Frederick 

1 From Sir Guy Carleton's manuscript correspondence, in the library 
of the Royal Society in London. 


(the head of the family), Susannah (Mrs. Beverley 
Rohinson), and Mary (Mrs. Roger Morris), all threw 
in their lot with the Crown in the war. 

Philip Philipse, another member of the family, 
had died before the w r ar, and his children being too 
young to take part in it, their property was not con- 
fiscated, and their descendants were, in 1847, still 
living on it, at Philipsburgh, on the Hudson River. 

It is stated 1 that Frederick Philipse received 
from the British Government as compensation for 
his losses 62,075, and Colonel Roger Morris, who 
had married Mary Philipse, 17,000. Also that 
Colonel Morris, before the Revolutionary War, had 
settled his property upon his wife, and that after the 
peace a legal question was raised whether his children 
could be debarred from inheriting they (unlike 
Colonel Beverley Robinson's) having been too young 
to take any part in the war and it being provided 
in the Treaty of Peace that settlements made before 
the war should hold good. 

It is added that in 1809 the then representative of 
the Morris family, not being in a position to contest 
the matter legally, assigned the reversionary rights 
of himself and his sisters to John Jacob Astor for 
20,000, who eventually received the property, 
which soon increased to many times that amount 
in value. 

I give below a remarkably interesting letter 
from General Israel Putnam, the well-known Revo- 
lutionary General, to Colonel Beverley Robinson, 
then in England, and the original of which is in the 
possession of the latter 's descendants : 

1 See Burke's " Landed Gentry," edition of 1847, under " Morris of 


POMFRET, May 14, 1783. 

SIR, The many civilities which I have received from 
Mrs. Robinson and her family make me feel extremely in- 
terested in whatever concerns them ; and I must say that my 
joy, on the return of peace, is greatly damped by the unhappy 
situation in which many friends of the Government are left. 

I feel most sensibly for what you must have suffered by 
the war, and whenever I think seriously upon the situation of 
this country, I cannot but bewail my folly in the part which I 
have acted. There was a time when I firmly believed that a 
separation from the mother country would be the greatest 
blessing to this. But, alas ! experience too late experience 
has convinced me, as well as thousands of others, how very 
erroneous this opinion was. 

I now see anarchy and confusion 'every day gaining ground 
among us. I see the encroachments of our great and good ally 
with pain and regret. 

Whether I shall ever live to see the accomplishment of 
my wish, or not, I can't tell, but it certainly is the greatest 
wish of my heart to leave my posterity in the enjoyment of 
that mild government which this unhappy war has deprived 
them of. (Signed) ISRAEL PUTNAM. 

When Christopher Robinson, of the Queen's 
Rangers, died in 1798, his widow must then have 
been left at York, now Toronto, where they had 
but recently arrived, with but very little means. 
She had six children, 1 viz. : 
Peter ; 

Mary, afterwards Mrs. Heward ; 
Sarah, afterwards Mrs. d'Arcy Boulton ; 
John Beverley, the subject of this memoir ; 
William Benjamin ; and 
Esther, who died young. 
Colonel Beverley Robinson was dead, and Colonel 

1 See Appendix B., IV. 


Simcoe hud left Upper Canada, so that to neither 
of these could she turn for aid or counsel. Her own 
father, the Rev. John Sayre, was also dead. 

My father has alluded to the warm and staunch 
friend he found in the Rev. Dr. Stuart, the father 
of the late Archdeacon of Kingston. He was the 
Bishop of London's Commissary, or representative in 
Upper Canada, and may be regarded as the father of 
the Episcopal Church in that province, being at one 
time the only Church of England clergyman in it. 
A United Empire Loyalist himself, born in Virginia, 
and who had served as chaplain to the troops in the 
Revolutionary War, he had probably been acquainted 
with Christopher Robinson, or his family, before 
coming to Canada. 

About this date he and others in Kingston were 
in correspondence with acquaintances in Scotland 
with a view to obtaining a tutor for their sons, being 
able to hold out, as an inducement to come to 
Canada, the prospect of future educational employ- 
ment in connection with a grammar-school and also 
a university which it was proposed to establish. 

This opening was accepted by Mr. John Strachan, 
then master of the parochial school of Kettle, in Fife- 
shire, who arrived in Kingston, December 31, 1709. 
To quote the Rev. Dr. Scadding * : 
The families referred to Hamiltons, Stuarts, and Cart- 
wrights appeared to have looked towards Scotland rather 
than England, partly perhaps from national predilection and 
partly from a reasonable impression that the economic and 
primitive university system of Scotland was better adapted to 
a community constituted as that of Upper Canada then was. 

1 "The First Bishop of Toronto, a Review and a Study," by Henry 
Scadding, D.D., 1868. 


This was a view held by many others, and which 
the career of more than one Scotchman in Canada 
would seem to endorse. 

In connection with this, I may mention that the 
Rev. Archibald Alison, 1 father of the historian, 
though educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where 
he spent eleven years of his life, and though admit- 
ting the greater nicety of critical knowledge and 
elegance of composition in the dead languages there 
taught, was yet so impressed by the superiority, for 
general students and practical life, of the Scotch 
system of education, which aimed at the training of 
youths " for the duties they would have to discharge 
and the parts they would have to play in the living 
communities in which they were to pass their lives," 
that though Vicar of High Ercal and Rector of 
Rodington in England, he moved in 1800, at some 
sacrifice and inconvenience, to Edinburgh, for the 
education of his sons for professions. 

In any case, these Kingston families showed 
themselves very clear-sighted in considering that the 
training and character of Mr. Strachan, afterwards 
Bishop of Toronto, specially fitted him to take charge 
of the instruction of youth in a new country. 

When Dr. Stuart offered to the widow of his old 
friend Christopher Robinson to take her son John 
Beverley with him to Kingston, and place him at 
school under Mr. Strachan, who was also tutor to 
his own sons, it can be easily understood how 
valuable to her was the helping hand he then ex- 

No words can adequately express the debt of 

"Autobiography of Sir Archibald Alison," by Lady Alison, 1883, 
vol. i. p. 21. 


gratitude which the descendants of Sir John Bever- 
ley Robinson owe to Dr. Stuart, 

He treated my father in all respects as his own 
child, and later on, in 1803, Mrs. Christopher Robin- 
son having in the meantime (5th September 1802) 
married again, he joined with her husband, Mr. 
Human, in sending him to Cornwall to continue his 
education under Dr. Strachan there. 

The latter had evidently by this time become 
himself much attached to his pupil, being willing 
to receive him " without reward," and as time went 
on he became almost a guardian as well as friend 
and tutor to him, ready always to assist him by 
his advice and example, and also with his purse. 

Writing to him on 25th January 1809, he 
says : 

I must confess that I shall be uncommonly mortified if you 
do not shine as a professional and moral man ; and that you will 
1 in both is the reward I promise myself from our connec- 
tion and a disinterested one it is, though to me it will be 


This well expresses the only way in which such 
kindness and friendship as that shown by Dr. Stuart 
and Mr. Strachan can be repaid. 

It may be said that in this sense their pupil en- 
deavoured to repay them, and he held both in heart- 
felt affection and regard throughout his life. 

Having been born at Berthier, in Lower Canada, 
on the 20th July 1791, my father was a little over 
twelve years of age when he joined the Cornwall 
School in November 1803. 

The following is one of the earliest letters relating 
to him, and was evidently delivered at Cornwall by 
himself : 



Dr. Stuart to Dr. Strachan. 

KINGSTON, November 25, 1803. 

DEAR SIR, The immediate occasion of this letter is to 
acquaint you with the circumstances which have furnished you 
with another pupil your old acquaintance, John Robinson. 

In a conversation with Justice Powell, 1 happened to mention 
your generous intention in proposing to take the bearer of this 
even without reward. However, I added that I disapproved of 
your proposal, as a thing not to be expected from a stranger 
just commencing his career in the world, unacquainted with the 
expense and troubles of housekeeping. I shall consider myself 
bound, in conjunction with Mr. Beman, to indemnify you for 
the time he is with you, till a permanent arrangement can 
take place. 

To hear of, and from you, will always give us pleasure. 

And I am, Reverend and Dear Sir, your sincere friend and 
brother, JOHN STUART. 

The Reverend JOHN STRACHAN, Cornwall. 

For four years, i.e. until August 1807, he con- 
tinued at school in Cornwall. 

It is unnecessary for me to enlarge upon the great 
benefit derived by him from these four years. The 
good results of the training imparted by Mr. Strachan 
to his pupils are well known throughout Canada. 

Into the occupations and amusements which filled 
up his school life I need not enter either, but I have 
heard that he joined very keenly in all games and 
sports. As a youth he was a fast runner and active 
generally, being named " The Young Deer " by the 
Indians, who then frequented Upper Canada. 

He was fond of poetry, and occasionally wrote 
verses. From his boyish productions in the years 


1806-7 I select the following, not, of course, for 
its intrinsic merit, but as being among his earliest 
efforts : 

To Mr. Strtichmi on his Birthday. 

II ll', 1807. 

I low shall mv muse unskilled to please, 
Attempt with unaffected ease 

Tn eelebrale the day. 
Which gave a father and a friend, 
My life from danger to defend, 
And guide my youthful way. 

May each revolvin. uiml 

My grateful heart IK>W good, how kind, 

How gracious you have been. 

Oh mav your goodness leave a trace, 

\Vhieh length of time shall ne'er efface, 

But whieh shall fix'd remain. 

Although they have more than once appeared in 
print in Canada, I make no apology for inserting here 
some extracts from Mr. Strachan's address to his 
pupils on the Cth August 1807, when several of them, 
including my father, were about to leave the school 
at Cornwall, for better advice has seldom been given 
to youths entering upon the world, and the school life 
and leaching at Cornwall unquestionably influenced 
my father's whole career : 

I begin with an observation, which to many of you will 
appear a little extraordinary. It is this, that one of the 

greatest advantages von have derived from your education 
here ari->es from the strictness of our discipline. Those of you 
who have not already perceived how much your tranquillity 
depends upon the proper regulation of the temper, will soon 
be made sensible of it as you advance in years. . . . 

We- should not forget that the situation of human affairs 


never allows any one to be, at all times, his own master. We 
are restrained on every side by limits which we cannot, or ought 
not, to pass. That discipline, therefore, which you have some- 
times thought irksome, will henceforth present itself in a very 
different light. . . . 

Next to the due regulation of the passions and melioration 
of the temper, we place those habits of diligence and application 
to which you have been accustomed in the prosecution of your 

If they are not acquired in youth, they are very seldom 
attained. They are certainly the foundation of all future 
excellence, for how can any person advance in his professional 
studies or transact his business with correctness and prompti- 
tude, unless he be accustomed to application ? 

In conducting your education, one of my principal objects 
has always been to fit you for discharging with credit the 
duties of any office to which you may hereafter be called. To 
accomplish this, it was necessary for you to be accustomed 
frequently to depend upon and think for yourselves. I have 
always encouraged this disposition, which, when preserved 
within due bounds, is one of the greatest benefits that can 
possibly be acquired. 

You are to remember that we have laid only the founda- 
tion, the superstructure must be raised by yourselves. . . . 
It is not by flying from subject to subject and skimming the 
surface of science that much knowledge is gained, but by 
proceeding slowly and correctly, never leaving any subject 
till it be thoroughly understood. A mass of information 
huddled up in a mind not accustomed to correctness of think- 
ing is of little use. Be patient, diligent, and methodical, and 
you will make rapid progress. 

When you are qualifying yourselves to discharge with 
dignity the duty of your professions, you must not forget that 
something more is necessary to render business pleasant. 
You must behave in a kind, affectionate manner to all who 
have intercourse with you. We may be correct in our deal- 
ings, we may discharge with fidelity the duty of our station, 
and yet become disagreeable. 

We may treat people with indifference, superciliousness, or 


neglect ; we mav indulge a moroseness of disposition which 
shall disgust where we meant to conciliate, and raise up 
enemies where we wished friends. The civility of manners 
uhieh I would recommend flows from the heart; it consists 
in showing a proper regard for the feeling> of others. 

. . . Having exhorted you at some length, in another 
place, always to cherish our Holy Religion, I shall not say 
anything further at present. Sillier me, however, to remind 
you that he who wishes to be a good man and ri>e in moral 
excellence, must begin with being a dutiful child. Obedience 
to parents is the forerunner of obedience to God. 

l>efore I conclude allow me to recommend the cultivation 
of friendship. The connections formed at school frequently 
continue through life. This union, if founded on virtue, and 
noiiri.>hed bv similarity of disposition and congenial souls, \\ill 
be the delight of your future lives. 

Twenty-six years after the above address had 
been delivered, the old Cornwall pupils of Mr. 
St radian, then Archdeacon of York, met together 
(2nd July 18&3) to present him with a piece of plate 1 
in gratitude to him as their tutor. 

On that occasion the address was read by my 
father, and forty-two old pupils signed it and joined 
in the presentation, many of them holding respon- 
sible positions in Canada, and some in distant parts 
the world. 

Mr. Strachan's acknowledgment of the address 
largely explains the reason why the system he had 
followed had so reached the hearts of his pupils. 

I was strongly impressed from the first with my respon- 
sibility as your teacher, and I felt that to be really useful, 
I must become your friend. It has ever been my conviction, 

1 This was a silver epergne, value about 230 sterling, the design >f 
which was supiM-inti-iidfd in London by Thomas Campbell, the poet, 
author of "The Pleasures of Hope/' and W. Dacros Adams. 


that our scholars should be considered for the time our children, 
and that, as parents, we should study their characters and 
pay respect to their peculiar dispositions, if we really wish to 
improve them, for if we feel not something of the tender 
relation of parents towards them, we cannot expect to be 
successful in their education. 

It is evident from his correspondence with his 
pupils after they had left school that while there 
he had identified himself with all their interests and 
amusements ; and no one who recollects him person- 
ally (as I can do, though only at a later period of his 
life) can fail to understand the influence which his 
manly character gave him over boys. 

Uniting, in a remarkable degree, as has been well 
said, "fascination with force," he treated his pupils 
as his own children, while he maintained a very strict 
discipline ; noting their individual tempers, their fail- 
ings, and their talents, and constantly stimulating or 
repressing as he thought wise. 

Such a system naturally left its mark for good 
upon the youth of my father's generation brought 
under Mr. Strachan's influence in Canada. 

Two months after leaving Cornwall, i.e. in October 
1807, my father entered as a student the office of Mr. 
D'Arcy Boulton, then Solicitor-General of Upper 
Canada, and remained with him three years. 

Mr. Strachan speaks of executing, with the con- 
sent of Mr. Beman, an indenture for him to be clerk. 

I shall take the necessary steps to secure you for five years 
from getting clear of the yoke. I hope, however, you will not 
find it burdensome. 

His course of reading during this period seems 
from his note-books to have been comprehensive. 


In addition to various treatises upon law, it 
included a careful study of Virgil, Horace, Pliny, 
Plutarch, Hume's History of England, Robertson's 
History of America, Palcy, the Speeches of Pitt, 
Krskine, Fox, and others, Shakespeare, Bolingbroke's 
Works, Milton and various poets. Upon the Bible 
there are very full notes, especially on Job, the 
Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Ecck-siastrs, and among 
them the following text specially scored in pencil : 

Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me, my 
righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go, my heart shall 
not reproach me so long as I live. Jon, xxvii. 6. 

He also took a leading part in a debating society 
got up among his fellow-students. 

The following letters show the continued interest 
evinced in him by Dr. Stuart and Mr. Strachan 
throughout the time he was studying for the Bar : 

Mr. Strachan to John B. Robinson. 

CORNWALL,, K-liruary 1808. 

. . . You must learn to be very careful of your matters 
economy is the root of true independence and to show you 
that your allowance is not so small as you niav imagine, my 
own expenses for Cloaths do not average more than sixteen or 

; i teen pounds per annum. It is true many people spend 
six times as much, but I do not think it adds anything to 
their respectability. The difficulties you have at present to 
encounter will be of great use to you in future. No man can 
be great, or perhaps very good, who has not received lessons 
from adversity. . . . 

Dr. Stuart to John B. Robinson. 

KINGSTON, June 30, 1808. 

DEAR JOHN, Your very kind affectionate letter was 
delivered to me by Mr. Boulton, and though you have greatly 


overrated any little benefit you received from me or my 
family, yet as it evidences the goodness of your heart, I con- 
sider the whole as the genuine effusion of a grateful mind. 
I have been long in the habit of considering you as a child, 
and consequently am deeply interested in your future prospects 
and success in the world. . . . 

There is no medium in the profession you have chosen; 
you must either rise to eminence and respectability or sink to 
the level of a pettifogging attorney in some obscure part of the 
country. I can only add that you have my good wishes at all 
times, and if an opportunity offers in which I can give you 
some more substantial proof of my friendship, you will be 
convinced at least of my good intentions. Mrs. Stuart was 
particularly pleased with the part of your letter in which her 
name was mentioned. I need only say she is as much your 
friend as ever. I am, dear John, your affectionate and sincere 
friend, JOHN STUART. 

Addressed to 

Student at Law, York. 

The want of perseverance and inclination to satire, 
alluded to in the next letters, were never apparent, 
I think, in my father in later life. 

Evidently some squib he had written was the 
occasion of the last, and perhaps the tendency it 
showed disappeared, because it was sharply and wisely 
disapproved of at once. 

Mr. Strachan to John B. Robinson. 

CORNWALL, January 25, 1809. 

. . . There is one rock from which you are in danger, that 

is the want of perseverance. This defect I endeavoured, while 

you were here, to correct. Endeavour yourself to conquer this 

Never conceive it possible for another to do anything 

in the way of your profession which you cannot also do. If 


you lose in the race after every effort to gain the victory, you 
lose with honour; but to be distanced is always disgr 
ful. . . . 

The Same to the Same. 

CORNWALL, >>/-//-mVr HO, 1800. 

. . . The interest I naturally take in your welfare forces 
me to take up the subject of my disapprobation again. I find, 
as I had anticipated, that the lines you made had given offence 
to the parties concerned. 

I am willing to make every allowance for what is past, but 
I must require your promise never to write satire upon any- 
body. The empty laugh of the malignant is but a small 
remuneration for hurting the feelings of your neighbour. I 
do not speak of the badness of the verses and incasur--. 
it was obvious to yourself, but you will shut every door against. 
you by indulging a satirical propensity, and you will quickly 
find yourself surrounded by enemies. 

The year 1811 was to be a sad one. In it my 
father lost his tried friend, Dr. Stuart, and his 
youngest sister, Esther. His legal studies in Mr. 
Houlton's ofHce were also interrupted, in consequence 
of the latter having been taken prisoner by the French 
privateer Grand Due dc Rcrg^ on a voyage to 
England. For a time it was thought that he had 
died of wounds he was known to have received in 
the capture of the ship The Minerva he had 
sailed in. 

The following is Dr. Stuart's last letter : 

KINGSTON, January 31, 1811. 

DEAR JOHN, ... I shall always consider you as my sixth 
son, and if I live long enough to have an opportunity of aiding 
and assisting you to procure a desirable establishment in life, 
I shall consider it a fortunate circumstance. 

Although my health is as good as persons at my time of 


life generally experience, yet I feel the love of ease and retire- 
ment daily gain ground, and what I ought principally to keep 
in view is how to make my exit with decency and comfort. 
My grandchildren begin to be an interesting sight eight fine 
boys and two girls. 

Mrs. Stuart and Jane join in love to you. The former 
wishes to see you in your old position at her elbow ; indeed, 
you have not by long absence lost any ground in her affectionate 
remembrance, and, I am, dear John, your affectionate friend, 



Student at Law, York. 

My father writes thus to Dr. Strachan on Sep- 
tember 18, 1811 : 

Dr. Stuart's death affected me very much. The unbounded 
kindness with which he has always treated me would have com- 
pelled me to love him. ... I can hardly reconcile to my mind 
the idea of never seeing him again. I have also, it grieves me 
to say, a nearer affliction to mention, the death of a good, 
affectionate, young sister. She died on the first of this month. 
Dear Hetty was sixteen years old. ... Poor little soul; she 
is in heaven, if a spotless conscience and a heart of tender- 
ness and goodness can claim a seat there. I was much by 
her bedside, from the time the quinsy broke. 

. . . Mr. Boulton, I fear, will never greet our eyes again. 
D'Arcy has had a letter from Mr. Franklin, saying that all the 
intelligence he can procure of Mr. Boulton, after several months'* 
diligent inquiry, is from two sailors, who, being taken with 
him, had volunteered into a French privateer, and been taken 
by an English ship. They state Mr. Boulton was very badly 
wounded, that when the rest were marched into the interior 
he was left in the hospital at Dieppe, and they have never 
heard of him since. I hope we may soon be relieved from 
so distressing an uncertainty. Mrs. Boulton continues pretty 


The fears which were entertained as to Mr. 
Boulton's safety were happily unfounded. He re- 
covered from his wounds, and after three years' 
confinement in the fortress of Verdun, was released, 
and returned to Canada. 

My father has alluded to his having completed 
his legal studies (owing to Mr. Boulton's detention 
in France) in the office of Lieutenant -Colonel 
Macdonell, M.P. for Glengarry, " a most honourahle 
and high-minded man " ; and he was certainly fortu- 
nate in being thus thrown into intimate contact 
with one of so high a professional and personal 

The services which have been rendered to the 
Empire, and at critical junctures, by the family of 
Macdonell of Glengarry, have been great, and the 
Glengarry Highlanders, well known in Canada, have 
distinguished themselves on the battlefields both of 
the Old and the New World. 

Among other noted members of this family, I 
may mention Colonel (afterwards General Sir James) 
Macdonell, celebrated for his determined defence of 
the important post of Hougoumont at Waterloo ; 
Colonel George Macdonell, C.B., whose name is 
inseparably connected with De Salaberry's brilliant 
success at Chateauguay, and who commanded at the 
capture of Ogdensburgh in the war of 1812-15 ; 
Bishop Alexander Macdonell, churchman and man 
of affairs, active in the war of 1812-15, and chaplain 
during it to the Glengarry Light Infantry ; and lastly 
Colonel John Macdonell, 1 in whose office my father 
was now enrolled, and who fell in the forefront of 

1 Great-uncle of the present John A. Macdonell, K.C., of Greenfield. 
Alexandria, Glengarry, Canada. 


the battle at Queenston Heights, when serving as 
A.D.C. 1 to General Brock. 

While in Colonel Macdonell's office, my father 
took some duty in connection with the House of 
Assembly in addition to his legal work, of which 
he thus speaks : 

My first public service was rendered while I was still a 
boy, under an appointment from Major-General Sir Isaac 
Brock, then President of the province, to supply temporarily 
the place of the Clerk-Assistant to the House of Assembly, 
Mr. Donald Maclean, who afterwards (in April 1813) gallantly 
joined the Grenadier Company of the 8th Regiment with his 
musket, and was killed in endeavouring to repel the attack of 
the enemy upon Toronto. . . . He being ill, I performed his 
duty for him. 

It was in one respect a gratifying commencement, for at the 
conclusion of the session the House passed unanimously a very 
flattering resolution, commending my services, and adding a 
substantial mark of their approbation, 2 which I had not at 
all looked for. 

Though not called to the Bar until a few months 
later, his student days were now practically over- 
Inter arma silent leges 

and a time of trial for Canada was approaching, 
which was to interrupt all the avocations of civil life. 

1 Being an officer of rank he combined the duties of Military Secretary 
and Aide-de-C'amp. 

2 The Assembly voted 50 as a mark of their approbation of his 
" extraordinary attention to the duties of the office." 



Outbreak of war Volunteers for service Capture of Fort Detroit Meets 
Bnu-k and Tenmi-r - (Jem-nil Hull anil other prisoners to 

Chippewa Ordered to Niairara frontier -Battle of Queenston Heights 

Death of Brock and Macdonell, and advance under ( Jeneral Shea Ho 

. orts Colonel Scott and other prixmers to Kingston- -Interment 
of Brock and Macdonell Remarks on advance from York to Detroit 

Mentioned in despatches for conduct at Cjueen-ton Colours taken 
at Detroit and Queen-ton, ami their sul>>e<|uent history Articles 
of capitulation of Fort Detroit Letters of Dr. Strachan Military 
services of the Bench and Bar of I'pper Canada --Remarks with 
re-peet to (ieneral Brock's operations; prudence of his ad\ a 

My Father's Account, taken from his Memoranda, <*c. 

IN 1811, the late Honourable William Allan 1 was captain 
of a company of Militia in the town of York, which he took 
pains to make efficient. 

Under the new Militia Act of 1812, flank companies were 
formed in each battalion of men who volunteered for active 
service in case of war; and Mr. Allan became captain of one 
of these companies, in which I and most of the young gentle- 
men of the town were enrolled as privates. 

The Attorney-General, Macdonell, with whom I v 
student, went upon General Brock's staff as Provincial A.D.C. 

As the prospects of invasion came nearer we were taken 
into garrison, and became soldiers for the time. 

In June 1812 the American Government declared war, 
having been engaged for some time before in collecting and 
forming a force for the invasion of Canada, which, about 3000 
strong, had been making its way through the Western States 

1 Father of the late Honourable G. W. Allau of Moss Park, Toronto. 



to Detroit, under the command of General Hull, who was then 
Governor of the Michigan territory. 

As soon as the intelligence of the war and of this move- 
ment reached Toronto, General Brock with a party of soldiers 
rowed across the lake to Niagara to make such arrangements 
as he could for the defence of the frontier there, and immedi- 
ately returned to York in the same boat, called out the 
Militia, and addressed them on the Garrison Common. He 
had then received information that General Hull with his 
force had crossed the Detroit River to Sandwich, which they 
plundered, and had marched down to Amherstburg, where 
a small detachment of the 41st Regiment under Colonel 
Proctor held out against him ; also, that a troop of American 
Dragoons had made their way through the Western District 
to Delaware, receiving the submission of some of the inhabi- 
tants, and being willingly joined by others, who had recently 
emigrated to Canada from the United States. 

General Brock told us that his intention was to go up at 
once to the Western District along the shore of Lake Erie, 
in boats, with such force as he could collect, and to embark 
at what is now Port Dover ; that his means of transportation 
were so limited that he could take but 100 volunteers from 
York, the same number from the head of the lake (Hamilton), 
and an equal number from Port Dover. . . . 

I had by that time received a commission as lieutenant. 1 
Many more men volunteered than could be taken, and I believe 
all the officers General Brock had to select the few 2 that were 
required, and I had the luck to be one. My brother-in-law, 
Captain Heward, was appointed to command the 100 men, and 
my brother, 3 who had raised a rifle company, was allowed to 
find his way by land, to join us in the Western District. 

We marched from Burlington Bay to Long Point on 
Lake Erie, and went from thence, in boats, up the lake to 

1 My father's commission to be " Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of 
York jVlilitia of which William Chewett is Lieutenant-Colonel," is dated 
the 17th April 1812. He was posted to Captain Reward's company. 
It is mentioned elsewhere that four were selected. 

3 Peter Robinson. 


General Hull crossed l the Detroit River on hearing 
of the approach of General Brock's very inferior four, 
and shut himself up with about 2500 men in the fort (of 

On the 15th August General Brock arrived at Sandwich, 
and on the morning of Sunday the 16th he crossed the river 
with his small force of 700 men, besides the Indians, who we re- 
sent into the woods, and was advancing to the assault, when 
General Hull sent out a flag of truce, and surrendered the 
fort with his army and the whole Michigan territory. All 
but the regular troops were allowed to depart on their 

I was sent with a party of the York volunteers, and an 
officer of the 41st Regiment with a party of his men, to take 
possession of the fort, and substitute the British flag for the 

On being relieved from duty the next morning, I had 
the pleasure of breakfasting with Sir Isaac Brock and with 
Tecumseh at an inn at Detroit. My short experience of 
soldiering was uncommonly lucky, for the fort being full of 
stores of all kinds, my share of prize-money as a lieutenant, 
which I received in due time, came to 90 and upwards, 
and the captors of Detroit being honoured by her Majesty 
with a medal, 2 I have this unusual appendage to a judge's 

A few days after the surrender I came down with Cap- 
tain Heward and a part of his company on board the 
Queen Charlotte, armed brig, as a guard with General 
Hull and part of the regular force 3 that surrendered at 
Detroit. General Brock returned to Fort Erie in a small 

1 i.e. retired over it again to the American side. 

2 The war medal (granted in 1847 for Peninsular and other campaigns 
between 17 ( J3 and 1814) was issued, with clasp for " Fort Detroit/' to all 
those who had been present at the capture of that fortress. My father 
only received this medal, therefore, about 1848. 

8 There were on board Brigadier-General William Hull, Captain 
Abraham Hull, his A.D.C. ; Lieutenant-Colonel J. Miller, commanding 
4th Regiment U.S. Infantry; Joseph Watson, A.D.C. to Governor of 
Michigan; and others in all, 12 officers, 134 privates, 8 women, and 4 
children. The men chiefly belonged to the 4th Regiment U.S. Infantry. 
The prisoners were being conveyed to Fort Erie, and thence to Halifax. 


sloop, having as a guard the Militia rifle company, com- 
manded by my elder brother (Peter), which had gone up 
by land to Sandwich and joined us there. We left the 
prisoners, whom we had brought down, at Chippewa, where 
there was a company of the 41st Regiment, and I returned 
with our 100 volunteers to Toronto. 

After a few days, the strength of our detachment being 
much augmented, both in men and officers, we were sent to 
the Niagara frontier under Captain Duncan Cameron, as 
senior captain ; Captain Heward and Captain Selby from 
East Gwillimbury were with us, and among the subalterns 
were M'Lean, G. Ridout, S. P. Jarvis, Stanton, and myself. 1 
We were stationed at Brown's Point, between Niagara and 
Queenston, and had two batteries in charge, the men being 
drilled in the use of the guns by a bombardier of the Royal 
Artillery. The Americans were concentrating their forces at 
Fort Niagara and Lewiston, and evidently intended to invade 
the province somewhere on that line. 

On the night of the 12th October 1812, they began crossing 
at Queenston, and were met by the small force that could be 
hastily collected, our main regular force being quartered in 
Fort George. 2 The York volunteers, being near the point 
of attack, were early engaged. 

What follows now is from a letter written by my 
father the day after the battle. 

The rough of this letter, with alterations and 
erasures, as he had first written it, was found among 
his papers, endorsed " Account of the Battle of 
Queenston, written at the time," and although the 
rough does not show to whom it was addressed, it 
was most probably written to Dr. Strachan. 3 

1 Most of the above officers had been my father's schoolfellows at 

2 Fort George, Niagara, was about seven miles from Queenston. 

3 A fair copy of this rough, with some slight alterations and additions, 
was found among the papers of Mr. Thomas Ridout, but without any clue 
to the writer or to whom it was written, and was published by Lady 
Ivlgar in "Ten Years of Upper Canada in Peace and War, 1805-15." 


The letter has the interest of being the story of a 
young officer engaged in the fight his first serious 
battle and of having been penned when every event 
was fresh in his memory, and the emotions aroused 
were still keenly felt ; so, with the exception of a few 
lines of no importance, I have given it, though long, 
/// c.vtciiso. 

BROWN'S POINT, Ortnln-r 14, 1812. 

MY DEAR SIR, The affair of yesterday terminated so 
gloriously for this province, and does so much honour to its 
spirited defenders, that I hasten to give an account to you, 
whom I know to be most warmly interested in the present 
cause of our countrv. 

I am anxious to detail to you the particulars, because I 
know your heart will glow with fervour at our success, while 
it feelingly and sincerely laments the price at which it was 

Few things occurred which I had not an opportunity of 
observing, and what I did see, from its novelty, its horror, 
and its anxiety, made so awful an impression on my mind, 
that I have the picture of it all fresh and perfect in my 

About half-an-hour before daylight yesterday morning (the 
13th of October, Tuesday), being stationed at one of the 
batteries between Fort George and Queenston, I heard a heavy 
cannonade from Fort Grey on the American side, situate on 
the height of the mountain, and commanding the town of 
yueenston. The motions of the enemy had, for a few days 
previously, indicated an intention to attack. The lines had 
been watched with all the vigilance that our force rendered 
possible, and so great was the fatigue which our men underwent 
from want of rest and exposure to the inclement weather which 
had just preceded, that they welcomed with joy the prospect 
of a field which would be decisive, and set them more at ease 
for the future. Their spirits were high, and their confidence 
in the General unbounded. 

Our "party, which was merely an extra guard during the 



night, returned to Brown's Point, our main station, which is 
about two miles in a direct line from Queenston. 

From our battery there we had the whole scene most dis- 
tinctly in our view. Day was just glimmering. The cannon 
from both sides roared incessantly, shells were bursting in the 
air, and the side of the mountain above Queenston was illumined 
by the continual discharge of small arms. The last circum- 
stance convinced us that some part of the enemy had landed ; 
and in a few moments, as day advanced, objects became visible, 
and we saw numbers of Americans in boats attempting to land 
upon our shore, amidst a shower of shot of all descriptions, 
which was skilfully and incessantly levelled at them. 

No orders had been given to Captain Cameron, who 
commanded our detachment of York Militia, what conduct 
to pursue in case of an attack at Queenston ; and as it had 
been suggested to him that, in the event of a landing being 
attempted there, the enemy would probably, by various attacks, 
endeavour to distract our force, he hesitated at first whether it 
would be proper to withdraw his men from the station assigned 
them to defend. He soon saw, however, that every exertion 
was required in aid of the troops engaged above us, and resolved 
to march us immediately to the scene of action. 

On our road, General Brock passed us. He had galloped 
from Niagara in great haste, 1 unaccompanied by his aide-de- 
camp or a single attendant. He waved his hand to us, and 
desired us to follow with expedition, and galloped on with full 
speed to the mountain. Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell and 
Captain Glegg passed immediately after. 

At the time the enemy began to cross there were two com- 
panies of the 49th Regiment (the Grenadier and Light Company) 
and, I believe, three small companies of Militia to oppose them. 

Their reception was such as did honour to the courage 
and management of our troops. The grape and musket balls, 
poured upon them at close quarters as they approached the 
shore, made incredible havoc. A single discharge from a field- 
piece directed by Captain Dennis himself (the captain of the 
49th Grenadiers) killed fifteen in one boat. 

1 About seven miles. 


Three of their batteaux landed at the hollow below Mr. 
Hamilton's garden in (^iieenston, and were met by a party of 
Militia, who slaughtered almost the whole of those in them, 
taking the rest prisoners. Several other boats were so shattered 
and raked that the men in them threw down their arms, and 
came on shore merely to deliver themselves up prisoners of 


Thus far, things had proceeded successfully; and the 
General, on his approach to the spot, was greeted with the 
happv intelligence that all our aggressors were destroyed or 
taken. As we advanced with our company we met troops of 
Americans on their way to Fort George under guard, and the 
road was lined with miserable wretches, suffering under wounds 
of all descriptions, and crawling to our houses for protection 
and comfort. 

The spectacle struck us, who were unused to such heart- 
rending scenes, with horror; but we hurried to the place, im- 
pressed with the idea that we had conquered, and that the 
business of the day was done. 

Afresh brigade of four boats had just then crossed, and our 
troops, who had been stationed on the mountain, were ordered 
down to dispute their landing. No sooner had they descended 
than the enemy appeared in force above them. They had 
probably landed before the rest, while it was yet dark, and 
h id remained concealed by the rough crags of the mountain. 
They possessed themselves instantly of our battery on the 

General Brock rushed up the mountain on foot with some 
troops to dislodge them ; but they were so advantageously 
posted, and kept up so tremendous a fire, that the small 
number ascending were driven back. 

The General then rallied the men, and was proceeding up 
the right of the mountain to attack them in Hank, when he 
received a ball in his breast. Several of the 49th assembled 
round him. One poor fellow was severed in the middle by a 
ball, and fell across the General. They succeeded, however, 
in conveying the General's body to Queenston. 

Just at this instant we reached Queenston. We were 


halted a few moments in Mr. Hamilton's garden, where we 
were exposed to the shot from the American battery at Fort 
Grey and two field-pieces directly opposite us, and also to an 
incessant fire of musketry from the side of the mountain. 
One of our poor fellows had his leg shot off in the ranks 
by a ball which carried away the whole calf of another 
lad's leg. 

In a few minutes we were ordered to advance to the 
mountain. The nature of the ground and the galling fire 
prevented any kind of order in ascending. We soon scrambled 
to the top, at the right of the battery which the Americans 
had gained, and were in some measure covered by the woods. 
There we stood, and gathering the men as they advanced, 
formed them into line ; the fire was too hot to admit of delay. 
Scarcely more than fifty were collected, of whom about thirty 
were of our company, headed by Captain Cameron and three 
of our subalterns. The remainder were the 49th, commanded 
by Captain Williams. 

Lieutenant- Colonel Macdonell was there, mounted, and 
animating the men to charge, seconded with great spirit and 
valour by Captain Williams. But the attempt was unsuccess- 
ful, and must have been dictated rather by a fond hope of 
regaining what had been lost by a desperate effort than by 
any conviction of its practicability. The enemy were just in 
front, covered by bushes and logs, and were three or four 
hundred in number. They perceived us forming, and at about 
thirty yards 1 distance fired. 

Colonel Macdonell, who was on the left of our party, most 
heroically calling upon us to advance, received a shot in his 
side, and fell. His horse was the same instant killed. . . . 
Captain Williams, who was at the other extremity of our 
small band, fell the next instant, apparently dead. The re- 
mainder of our men discharged their pieces, and retired down 
the mountain. Lieutenant M'Lean 1 was wounded in the thigh, 
and Captain Cameron, in his attempt to save Colonel Mac- 
donell, exposed himself to a shower of musketry, which he 
most miraculously escaped. He succeeded in bearing off his 

1 Afterwards Chief- Justice M'Lean. 








friend ; and Captain Williams recovered from the wound in 
his head iii time to make his escape down the mountain. 

This happened about ten oYlock. Our forces rallied about 
a mile below. . . . General Shealle, with the 41st from I'ort 
about 300 in number, came up soon after with the 
field-pieces and Car Brigade. 1 All the force that could be 
mustered was collected, and we marched through the fields 
back of Queeiiston, ascended the mountain on the right, and 
remained in the woods in rear of the enemy till intelli.L 
was gained of their position. During this time, the Americans 
were constantly landing fresh troops unmolested, and carrying 
back their dead and wounded in their return boats. 

About three o'clock, (Jeneral Shealle advanced through the 
woods towards the battery on the mountain, with the main 
body and the field guns on the right : the Mohawk Indians, 
under Captain Norton, and a Niagara Company of Blacks, 
proceeded along the brow of the mountain on the left; and 
our company of Militia, with the Light Company of the 49th, 
broke through in the centre. 

In this manner we rushed through the woods to our en- 
camping ground on the mountain, which the enemy had 
occupied. The Indians were the first in advance. A> soon 

they perceived the enemy they uttered their terrific war- 
whoop, anil commenced a most destructive fire, rushing rapidly 
upon them. Our troops instantly sprang forward from all 
quarters, joining in the shout. 

The Americans stood a few moments, gave two or three 
neral volleys, ami then fled by hundreds down the mountain. 
At that moment, Captain Bullock, with 1~;0 of the 41st and 
two Militia Hank companies, appeared advancing on the road 
from Chippewa. The consternation of the enemy was com- 
plete. . . . 

They had no place to retreat to, and were driven 1 y a 
furious and avenging foe, from whom they had little mercy to 
expect, to the brink of the mountain which overhangs the 
river. They fell in numbers. . . . Many leaped down the 

1 The " Car Brigade " of Artillery was largely ooin;><.-e<l of farmers' 
sons who had voluuteered to horse the guns with their draught horses. 


side of the mountain to avoid the horrors which pressed upon 
them, and were dashed to pieces by the fall. 

A white flag was observed, and with the utmost difficulty 
the slaughter was suspended. Two officers who brought it 
were conducted up the mountain to General Sheaffe. A ces- 
sation of hostilities for three days was agreed upon. 

Thus ended the business of this day, so important and so 
interesting in its occurrences to the inhabitants of this pro- 
vince. The invasion of our peaceful shores has terminated in 
the entire destruction of their army and the total loss of every- 
thing brought over. 

The number of Americans landed is unknown, and cannot 
be easily ascertained by us, but we know that we have taken 
nearly, or perhaps quite, 1000 prisoners, with more than fifty 
officers, undoubtedly their bravest and best. Still we have 
much to sorrow for. Our country has a loss to deplore which 
the most brilliant success cannot fully atone for. That General 
who had led our little army to victory, whose soul was wrapped 
up in our prosperity, and whose every energy was directed to 
the defence of our country, is now shrouded in death. 

Who will not sympathise in another misfortune nearly 
related to this. . . . That heroic young man, 1 the constant atten- 
dant of the General, strove to support to the last a cause which 
should never be despaired of, but he was not destined to witness 
its triumph. I have mentioned the manner of his death. His 
career was short, but honourable ; his end was premature and 
full of glory. He will be buried at the same time with the 
General. . . . 

Our company of volunteers suffered considerably. One 
man was killed, and eleven wounded, most of them badly. But 
all these, though melancholy circumstances, are the inevitable 
consequences of war; and grateful should the inhabitants of 
this province be to Heaven if, by a sacrifice of some of its 
gallant defenders, it can save itself from unjust aggression, and 

1 Refers to Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, A.D.C. to General Brock, 
who survived the mortal wound he had received for about twenty-four 
hours only, and in this interval a mail arrived from England which 
brought out the King's confirmation of his appointment to be Attorney- 


preserve to our Mother Country a possession which has ever 
heen the object of its affection. 

Our troops will have received fresh courage from their 
victory, and the cool though determined and vigorous conduct 
of General Sheaffe, 1 and the gallant behaviour and spirited 
exertions of every officer tinder his command on that occasion, 
claim from us every confidence in the anticipation of the future. 

The above concludes the account of the Battle of 
" Queenston," or " Queenston Heights," as it is often 
called. 2 I continue now from my father's memo- 
randa, &c. : 

Two davs afterwards I was sent with a guard of the York 
Militia, commanded by Major Allan, on board one of our 
armed vessels, with a number of prisoners, to Toronto and 
Kingston on their way to Quebec. 

Colonel, now Lieutenant-General, Scott the present Com- 
mander-in-Chief ' of the United States Army was among them, 
and Captain Wool, now General Wool ; and, as crossing Lake 
Ontario was not then the business of a few hours, but generally 
took an indefinite time, from two days to ten, we became very 
well acquainted. 

We had a tedious passage, being several times driven back 
by westerly winds. When we came to the wharf at Niagara 
many of my friends were there to meet us, and I was warmly 
congratulated upon M my appointment." I could not imagine 
what my good fortune was, but thought I might possibly have 
been made a captain, which would have astonished me not a 
little. They soon astonished me much more by informing me 
that in my absence I had been made Acting Attorney-General 
in the place of my late master, Colonel Macdonell, whom I had 

1 Whatever may have been the mistakes or shortcomings <>f 

on other orca-ions in this war, ho showed vigour and determina- 
tion at this ori>is. ;ind for his ^rrviees wa> rivaled a baronet. 

2 In the official Army List, and on the colours of regiments, the 
spelling: is " (^uoenstown." 

:; (uMicral Scott was Commander-iii-Chief of the United States Army 
from 1841 to 1861, and died in 1866. 


seen fall at the head of our Militia after General Brock had 
been killed. 

I was then but a few weeks over twenty-one years of age, 
and was only a law student, though entitled to be called to the 
Bar, my five years being just completed. 

I may add to my father's account, given in the 
preceding pages, of the campaign of 1812, that at the 
interment of General Brock and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Macdonell at Fort George on the 16th October, he 
was one of the pall-bearers of Lieutenant-Colonel 

Afterwards, on 13th October 1824, he was pre- 
sent at the removal of their remains to the monu- 
ment erected upon Queenston Heights, and on 30th 
July 1840 took a prominent part in the meeting held 
for the purpose of rebuilding that monument, which 
had been partially destroyed by some criminal hand. 

It may be mentioned here, too, that nearly half a 
century after the events of 1812, he was (on 7th July 
1860) deputed by the survivors of the war to present 
their address of welcome to the Prince of Wales on 
his arrival in Canada. 

In the advance from York to Detroit some very 
hard work was entailed upon the small body of 
regulars and Militia, of which my father formed one. 

In the journey by water from Long Point to 
Amherstburg, it was only after five days of excessive 
exertion, in open boats, in hot, windy, and rainy 
weather, and proceeding constantly by night, that 
they reached the latter place. 

Referring to the volunteer company he was with, 
my father says : 

This body of men consisted of farmers, mechanics, and 
gentlemen, who, before that time, had not been accustomed 


to any exposure unusual \\ ith persons of the same description 
in other countries. They marched on foot, and travelled in 
boats and vessels, nearly ()()0 miles, in going ami returning, 
in the hottest p:irt of the year, sleeping occasionally on the 
ground, and frequently drenched with rain; but not a man 
wa> left behind in consequence of illn 

And writing in his Diary many years afterwards 
(7th April 1851) on a journey from Simcoe to Port 
Dover, he says : 

I noticed about a quarter of a mile before we reached 
Dover an old painted farmhouse in which we spent two or 
three days in 1812 (waiting for General Brock's arrival), OUT 

men being quartered in the barn of old \Vinant Williams, the 
fanner who owned the house. 

How few are alive now General Brock, Colonel Nichol, 
Colonel Maedonell, Major Salmond, mv poor brother, Captain 
Ileward, Richardson, Jarvie all gone; but there is the old 
farmhouse with its comfortless-looking porch and dilapidated 
tes looking not very different from what it did then. 




General Brock thus testifies to the spirit with 
which these troops met the call made upon them : 

In no instance have I seen troops who would have endured 
fatigues of a long journey in boats with greater cheerfui- 
ss and constancy, and it is but justice to the little band to 
add that their conduct throughout excited my admiration. 

In General Brock's orders of 16th August 1812, 
after the surrender of Fort Detroit, Captain Ileward, 
in whose company my father was serving, and Captain 
Peter Robinson were both desired to assure the officers 
and men under their command that their exertions 
* had been duly appreciated, and would never be for- 
gotten " ; and in General Sheaffe's despatch of 13th 
October 1812 my father was mentioned by name as 

1 From " Canada and the Canada Hill " (1840). 


having at the battle of Queenston Heights "led his 
men into action with great spirit." 

Major Richardson, in his History of the War, 
describing the entry into Fort Detroit, after the ar- 
rangements for its surrender had been made, says : 

A guard of honour consisting of an officer and forty men 
were immediately formed to take possession of the fort. The 
command of this devolved upon the officer who had led the 
advanced guard, Lieutenant Bullock, and among those of the 
Militia who were attached to his party, and had first the 
honour of entering the fortress, were the present Chief-Justice 
Robinson, Samuel Jarvis, Esquire, Superintendent of Indian 
affairs, and Colonel William Chisholm of Oakvilb. . . . 

The American flag was lowered, and a Union Jack, which 
a blue-jacket had brought with him, hoisted ir its place. 

In his account of the Battle of Queenston 
Heights he thus mentions my father : 

Again, on this occasion was the present Chief-Justice 
Robinson conspicuous for his zeal and gallantry. 

In the absence of his captain (Reward) who was upon 
leave, he commanded the Second Flank Company during the 
whole of the day. He consequently bore a prominent part in 
the engagement, from the moment when he arrived at early 
dawn from Brown's Point, where he was stationed with No. 1 
or Captain Cameron's Company, to the late hour in the after- 
noon, when victory finally perched on the British standard. 

Colonel W. F. Coffin also, in his " Chronicle of 
the War of 1812 " thus alludes to him : 

The British had been exasperated by the fatal event of the 
morning (the death of Brock). The men of Lincoln and the 
"brave York volunteers," with Brock on their lips and reven/ 
in their hearts, had joined in the last desperate charge, an< 
among the foremost foremost ever found! was John Beverlej 
Robinson. His light, compact, agile figure, handsome fa( 
and eager eye, were long proudly remembered by those wh( 
had witnessed his conduct on the field. 


The Colours of the 4th Regiment United States 
Infantry, which were in a room in Fort Detroit in 
which four American officers had been killed by the 
fire of the batteries from the Canadian hank of the 
river, were formally handed over by the officer com- 
manding that regiment to Lieutenant Bullock. 

At Queenston Heights one Colour was captured. 

The subsequent history of these Colours will be 
of interest to Canadian readers. 

(icncral Brock, writing to Sir George Provost, 
says that he sends to him, by Captain Glegg his 
A.D.C., "the Colours taken at Detroit, and those 
of the 4th Regiment United States Infantry," l and 
by Sir George they were sent to England by his 
A.D.C. Captain Coore. 

They were first deposited in the Chapel Royal, 
Whitehall, whence, in 1835, they were transferred, 
with the Eagles and other trophies in that chapel, 
to the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. 

The Colour taken at Queenston Heights, which 
belonged to a regiment of New York Militia, was 
sent to England by Sir George Prevost, in charge 
of his A.D.C., Captain Fulton, and is thus described 

the Quebec Mercury of November 1812 : 

It is made of blue, or purple-coloured changeable silk, 
about a yard and a half square, with the arms of the United 
Slates on one side, and those of New York 2 on the other 
both surrounded by a, circle of stars. 

This Colour also was first deposited in the Chapel 

1 (Jem-nil Brock's despatch to Sir George Provost, August 17,1812. 
Probably there was a Fort Standard as well as the Colours of the 4th 
i nited State- Infantry, ^ee footnote, page -\-\. 

2 The American Kagle perched upon the globe, above a shield showing 
the sun rising over water. Supporters at each side of the shield, one with 
a cap of liberty. Motto, " Excelsior." 


Royal in Whitehall, and thence transferred to 

The above Colours are still in the Royal Hospi- 
tal, Chelsea, having been recently restored as far as 
possible. During the three years (1895-98) that I 
was Lieutenant-Governor and Secretary of the Hos- 
pital I saw them constantly, one of them in good 
preservation hanging close to my pew. 

That taken at Queenston, and one Colour (the 
National) of the 4th United States Infantry form the 
subject of a plate in " Naval and Military Trophies " 
by William Gibb and Richard Holmes. Much of 
the silk of the former has disappeared, but the Arms 
on each side are in good preservation. 

When in England in 1815 my father saw them, 
with others, in the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, and 
thus alludes to them in his Journal (24th November 
1815) : 

Here (i.e. in the Chapel Royal), on the west side, is the 
Colour taken from the Americans at Queenston, placed by 
them on our battery when they gained possession of it just 
before Brock fell. 

It was taken by a private militiaman of one of the Chippewa 
companies in our advance under Sir Roger SheafFe in the after- 
noon, and presented to him on the field. I saw him with it 
round him on the field. I have heard that the gallant fellow 
who seized it on the battery while the enemy were yet there 
\\iis suffered to remain unrewarded. 

Next this Standard are three Ensigns of Fort Detroit, and 
on the opposite side is the small Ensign of Fort Niagara. 1 

1 Evidently from this, and the wording of General Brock's despatch 
to Sir G. Prevost of August 17, 1812, the two Colours of the 4th 
Regiment United States Infantry were not the only ones sent to England Detroit. The Ensign of Fort Niagara was forwarded to England hy 
Colonel Murray, in charge of Mr. Bramptori, his staff officer. It cannot 
now be identified with certainty among the flags which hang in the Royal 
Hospital, Chelsea. 


It may easily be imagined that my feelings were quite alive 
to the most pleasing reflect ions on viewing four Standards, out 
of five which I had seen taken from the enemy, depo>itcd 
among the trophies of the most splendid victories of modern 
limes, ranged with the Eagles and tri-colonred Hags of France. 
. . . Alas! poor Brock, how much thy country owes thee. 

The " Articles of Capitulation " of Fort Detroit, 
signed by Brock and Hull, and which had been 
rved among General Brock's papers, were, many 
years after these events, presented to my father 
by Mr. Ferdinand Brock Tapper, author of "The 
Life of Brock," and are now in the possession of my 
brother Christopher. 

The following extract is from a letter from Dr. 
Strachan to my father, then on the Niagara frontier, 
shortly before the battle of Queenston Heights : 

YORK, S.ptnnl,,',- \\\, IJJlL'. 

DKAR JOHX, I have been much gratified with the ; 
reputation which you have obtained as an excellent officer. It 
is an earnest to me that you will be first in your profession, 
>on as you are admitted to the Bar. At present you do 
well to turn all your attention to excelling in your duty as an 
officer, and you will find vour reward. . . . 

Yours affectionately, Jonx STKACHAN. 

My father closed what may be termed his military 
career after the battle of Queenston Heights. 

Many varied incidents of war had been seen by 
him by the time he was but little over twenty-one 
years of age. 

He had taken an active part in the defeat of 
two invasions of Upper Canada, been present at 
the capture of a fortress with 40,000 worth of 
prize, and been escort on two occasions to sur- 
rendered officers of rank and prisoners of war. 


The chances of war had led, through the taking 
in a sea fight of one civil chief, and the lamented 
death in battle of another, to his appointment to the 
vacant post of Attorney- General of Upper Canada. 

It was a very exceptional experience ; and it must 
be also exceptional that in Canada, within thirteen 
years, viz., between 1828 and 1841, seven judges l were 
sitting on the Bench, all of whom had seen fighting 
in the Revolutionary War, or in that of 1812-1815, 
and two of them had been severely wounded. 

These were Sir William Campbell, Judge Boulton, 
Sir J. B. Robinson, Sir J. B. Macaulay, Chief-Justice 
M'Lean, Judge Jones, and Judge Hagerman. 

In fact, almost the whole Bench in Upper Canada 
at that time, and many members of the Bar, may be 
said to have received a training in war. 

It has been considered by some that the capture 
of Fort Detroit was, at best, an instance of extra- 
ordinary good fortune, crowning a desperate venture. 

In short, that the advance against the fort was 
an act of such audacity and rashness, when the 
position and strength of the opposing forces are 
compared, that it hardly deserved the success which 
attended it, and was a risk scarcely justified. 

Fort Detroit was a regular work, of solid con- 
struction, covering about an acre of ground. It 
had four bastions, the whole being surrounded by 
palisades and a deep ditch. The parapets were 
some twenty feet high. 

It was armed with thirty-three pieces of brass 
and iron ordnance of various calibres, including 
several 24-pounders, and garrisoned in the work, 

1 Four of these became Chief- J us tices. 


town, and camp around it by a force of some 2500 
men, which consisted partly of regulars, and was 
commanded by a general officer of experience in 
the field. 

To advance, in broad daylight, against a for 
so garrisoned, and unhreached by artillery, witli a 
mixed force of 700 regulars and Militia and (KM) 
undisciplined Indians may appear, at first sight, 
almost Quixotic. 

Nevertheless, to view it in this light is unjust 
to the reputation of Brock. 

His resolution to advance and demand the sur- 
render of Fort Detroit is a proof not alone of his 
courage, but also of his penetration and correct grasp 
of the situation in which he was placed. He showed, 
in fact, those qualities which combine to make a great 
leader as well as a determined soldier. 

My father says l as to this : 

... It has, I know, Sir, in the many years that have 
elapsed, been sometimes ohjerted that General Crock's cor 

.venter than his prudence that his attack on Fort Detroit, 
though it succeeded, was most likely to have failed, and was 
therefore injudicious. 

Those who lived in Upper Canada while these events were 
passing can form a truer judgment. They know that what to 
some may seem rashne.vs was, in fact, prudence : unless, indeed, 
the defence of Canada was to be abandoned. 

And at the moment when the noble soldier fell (alluding to 
Queenston), it is true that he fell in discharging a duty which 
might have been committed to a subordinate hand . . . but 
he felt that hesitation might be ruin : that all depended upon 
his example of dauntless courage, of fearless self-devotion. 

It is true his gallant course was arrested by a fatal wound 
such is the fortune of war ; but the people of Canada did not 

1 Speech at Queenston Heights on 30th July 1840. 


feel that his precious life was thrown away, deeply as they 
deplored his fall. 

In later periods of the contest it sometimes happened that 
the example of Brock was not very closely followed. It was 
that cautious calculation, which some suppose he wanted, 
which decided the day against us at Sacketfs Harbour; it 
was the same cautious calculation which decided the day at 
Plattsburg; but no monuments have been erected to record 
the triumphs of those fields. It is not thus that trophies 
are won. 

General Brock's published letters l show that, for 
many months before the outbreak of the war, he had 
been urging the importance of retaining possession of 
the Detroit district. 

On February 12, 1812, he writes to Sir George 
Prevost : 

I set out with declaring my full conviction that unless 
Detroit and Michilimackinac be both in our possession im- 
mediately at the commencement of hostilities, not only the 
district of Amherstburg, but most probably the whole country 
as far as Kingston, must be abandoned. . . . 

When, therefore, in consequence of Hull's in- 
vasion, he hurried to Detroit, it can be seen that 
he looked upon the expulsion of the enemy as a 
vital matter. 

The situation was critical. Delay almost certainly 
meant failure, for while he himself could look for no 
immediate addition to his strength, large American 
reinforcements were but a few marches off. 

A success, on the other hand, would rouse the 
spirit and confidence of the country, decide the al- 
legiance of the Indians, confirm the wavering, and 
overawe the disloyal. Everything depended upon 

"Life of Sir Isaac Brock/' by F. B. Tapper, 1847. 


prompt action. It must be remembered that Brock 
had much to fear from disaffection, especially in the 
western district. On 3rd February 1812, he writes : 
" The great influence which the settlers from the 
I Hited States possess over the decisions of the Lower 
House is truly alarming." Some measures also, in- 
troduced by Brock himself and urged on that House 
for the safety of the province, had been thrown out. 
Colonel George Deuison, in an address delivered at 
Toronto on 17th April 1891, has well emphasised this 

At this juncture, lie became aware, from inter- 
cepted letters and despatches, that General Hull was 
disappointed at not having- been received with open 
arms by the inhabitants generally, and nervous as to 
the safety of his communications ; that he had be- 
come dispirited to the extent of fear, and had lost 
the confidence of both officers and men. 

Under such circumstances it was certainly not 
rashness, but genuine prudence, which determined 
Brock to first demand the surrender of the fort, 
and then move boldly towards it. 
. Many leaders would have shrunk from this re- 
sponsibility. There can be no question that, had he 
failed, the movement would then have been con- 
demned as rash to culpability ; and, so far as his 
personal reputation was concerned, it is not too 
much to say that he was less likely to suffer in the 
opinion of his superiors by avoiding than by accept- 
ing such a risk. 

But no such considerations swayed him, and 
from his own letters given below, we learn why he 
crossed the Detroit River, and that it was with no 
intention of running his head blindly against the 



ramparts of Fort Detroit, though circumstances, after 
he had crossed, determined him to assault the fort 
itself, combining with this an attack by the Indians 
upon the camp adjoining it. 

As he had anticipated, Hull surrendered before 
the assault was delivered, and it is more than pro- 
bable that had that General awaited the assault, the 
same despondency which this pusillanimous surrender 
shows to have existed, would have made his resist- 
ance a feeble and a vain one. 

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost. 1 

August 17, 1812. 

... I crossed the river with the intention of awaiting in a 
strong position the effect of our force upon the enemies' camp, 
and in the hope of compelling him to meet us in the 
field ; 2 but receiving information upon landing that Colonel 
M'Arthur, 3 an officer of high reputation, had left the garrison 
three days before with a detachment of 500 men, and hear- 
ing soon afterwards that his cavalry had been seen that 
morning three miles in our rear, I decided on an immediate 

Accordingly the troops advanced to within one mile of the 
fort, and having ascertained that the enemy had talten little or 
no precaution towards the land side, I resolved on an assault, 
whilst the Indians penetrated his camp* 

Brigadier-General Hull, however, prevented this movement 
by proposing a cessation of hostilities for the purpose of 
preparing terms of capitulation. 

1 " Life of Sir Isaac Brock/' by F. B. Tupper. 

8 In order to free his communications and line of supplies, and secure 
their safety. 

Second in command of the American Army. 

4 The lines in italics have heen placed so by me to draw attention to 


.Ifajor-General Brock to his 

LAKE ONTARIO, September 3, 1812. 

You will have heard of the complete success which attended 
the efforts I directed against Detroit. . . . Some say that 
nothing could he more desperate than the measure; but I 
answer that the state of the province admitted of nothing 
but desperate remedies. 

I got possession of the letters my antagonist addressed 
to the Secretary at War, and also of the sentiments which 
hundreds of his army uttered to their friends. 

Confidence in the General was gone, and evident despond- 
ency prevailed throughout. I crossed the river contrary to the 
opinion of Colonel Proctor, . . . &c.; it is therefore no wonder 
that envy should attribute to good fortune what, in ju>tice to 
my own discernment, I may say proceeded from a cool calcula- 
tion of the pours et contres . . . Let me know, my dearest 
brothers, that you are all again united. The want of union 
nearly losing this province without a struggle, and be 
assured it operates in the same degree in regard to families. 

It has always been felt, and rightly so, through- 
out Canada that the success of the campaign of 1812 
was due largely to what Sir James Macaulay termed 
'* the talismanic influence and ascendency of Brock 
over his fellow-men to the Nelsonian spirit that 
animated his breast." 5 

As to this, my father writes : 3 - 

I do most sincerely believe that no person I have ever seen 
could so instantly have infused, under such discouraging cir- 
cumstances, into the minds of a whole people the spirit which, 
though it endured long after his fall, was really caught from 

The repulse of the first invasion of Upper Canada 

1 " Life of Sir Isaac Brock," by F. B. Tupper. 

2 Speech at Queenston Heights, Wth July 1840. 

3 Letter to F. B. Tupper, Esq., lUth January 1846. 


at Detroit was due chiefly to the foresight, the energy, 
and the correct judgment of General Brock ; that of 
the second invasion, at Queenston Heights, was due 
very possibly to the example of his courage and the 
resolution to avenge his death. 

On this account, and because he gave his life for 
his country, Brock will ever remain the hero of 
Upper Canada. 

A brave soldier, an able leader, and a good man, who 
honoured by his life and ennobled by his death the soil on 
which he bled. 1 

1 W. F. Coffin, " Chronicle of the War of 1812." 



Called to the Bar Appointed Acting Attorney-General Duties during 
the war Situation in Canada Leiral qiie>tions arii-inir, and trials of 
prisoners for treason II is >er\ ices acknowledged by Sir (Jordon 
Drurnmond The Peace Ceases to be Acting Attorney-! ieneral 
Becomes Solicitor-< leneral - Determines to qualify for English Bar 
Armistice on the Niagara frontier Letter from Dr. Straehan 
Further connection with the Militia- < )ccujiation of York, 1813 
Fir-t leiral opinion ^iven by him K\rri '.>ns and privations of 
Canadian Militia Patriotism >hown More knowledge of this war 
desirahle Loyal and Patriotic Society Occupations and amuse- 
ments at York, 1813-14 Sir Frederick and Sir William Robinson 
Defensive measures advocated by my father Importance of com- 
mand of the Lakes Letter of the Duke of Wellington Effect on 
Kiiirlaiul and Canada of the Wars of the American Revolution, 
177-"> -.", and of 1812-15 Letter from Sir (iordon Drurnmond 
as to application for leave Sails for England in the sloop-of-war 
Moryinna The voyage, cod fishing off the Banks Journey to 

From my Fathers Memoranda. 

I HAD not yet been called to the Bar, and could not be till 
next term (Michaelmas 1812); but though I went over to 
York then for that purpose, the few Benchers of the Law 
Society were so occupied with military duties, and so dispersed 
through the province, that there was no convocation. 

In those days, when York (now Toronto), the seat of 
Government, was but a small village, with scarcely 700 in- 
habitants, there was not much to distract the attention of 
law students; and those who did not read must have been 
firmly resolved to be idle. I had read much less than I 
should have done, but much more than I believe was usual, 
and so had perhaps the reputation of being studious. 

On the last day of Michaelmas term, 14th November, I 
was called to the Bar by a special Rule of Court ; but it was 
not till Hilary term, 1815, when the war was nearly concluded, 



and the Militia had been relieved by large reinforcements of 
regular troops, that the Law Society resumed their usual 
meetings with a legal quorum, and thenceforward there was 
no interruption. 

A statute was passed in 1815, which was drawn up by 
the late Dr. Baldwin, for sanctioning what had been done 
irregularly during the suspension, and preventing any injury 
to those who had been unable to procure admission properly 
as barristers or law students while the war was going on. 
For the credit of the profession in those primitive days, all 
ought to read this Act, 1 for it is a record honourable to the 
men and boys of that time. 

Sir Roger Sheaffe, who had succeeded Sir Isaac Brock in 
the command and in the civil government, had made my 
appointment (to be Acting Attorney-General) in my absence. 
I had only seen him once as he passed our station on the 
river, and again during the action at Queenston, and had no 
acquaintance with him. When I waited upon him, which I 
did the day I landed, he told me that he had placed me in 
the office at the suggestion of Mr. Justice Powell, who was 
an old and intimate friend of his. 

From that time until the end of the war in 1815, I con- 
tinued to be the only Crown officer in Upper Canada, the 
Solicitor-General being still detained a prisoner at Verdun 
in France. 

In my first interview with Sir Roger Sheaffe, I had a 
case submitted to me rather formidable for a beginner, viz., 
whether the inhabitants of the Michigan Territory, which 
was conquered when Hull and his army were taken, could 
be compelled to render service to the British Crown as 
militiamen while the war was still going on. It was the 
first legal Opinion 2 I had been called upon to give. 

The first brief I held in any case was at the Assizes at 
York (Toronto) in March 1813, when, as Acting Attorney- 
General, I preferred an indictment against one Shaw for 
murder, who was properly acquitted. 

1 See Appendix A., I. 

2 For this Opinion, see page 60. 


The conquest of the Michigan Territory gave rise to 
various questions of public law respiting the duties and 
rights of its inhabitants, in which the Government acted by 
my advice. 

During the war, as the military service went on and 
difficulties accumulated, various doubts were started about 
the exercise of martial law, statutes had to be framed to 
meet the exigencies of the time, and military officers had to 
stained in the Civil Courts against actions brought by 
the inhabitants of the country for acts done, not always very 
discreetly, under the pressure of the public service. 

In all these defences I happily succeeded, and I have a 
letter from General Sir Gordon Drummond acknowledging in 
warm terms the nature of the services which I had rendered. 1 

In December 1812, the York Militia had been withdrawn 
from the Niagara frontier. When spring came, the enemy, 
having command of the Lakes, brought a large force to 
Toronto, and succeeded in taking posse.^sion of it, which 
they held for a few days, when they next attacked Fort 
George at Niagara, which they also took, and established 
themselves there, the British force falling back to St. Cathe- 
rines. Through that summer and in the following year the 
enemy held possession of a large portion of the Niagara 
District. Some of the inhabitants (chiefly those who had 
come in before the war from the United States) being 
disaffected, gave what assistance they could to the enemy, 
conveying information, and aiding in plundering their loyal 
neighbours. Others enlisted in a corps that was raised for 
the service of the enemy by a Mr. Willcocks (formerly, it 
was said, an United Irishman), who was at the time one of 
the members of the Assembly of Upper Canada, and who 
was shot in the ranks of the enemy in an attack upon Fort 

General de Rottenburg, who succeeded Sir Roger Sheaffe 
in the government of Upper Canada, had as many of the 

1 Referring:, most probably, to a letter from Sir Gordon Drummond, of 
2fith March 1817, to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, given 
in Chapter V. 


traitors apprehended as could be got hold of; and after I 
had examined and reported on all the cases, Sir Gordon 
Drummond, who became Governor in December 1813, directed 
a special Commission to issue for their trial. 

When I had made all the necessary preparations, and was 
ready to proceed with the trials, Sir Gordon Drummond 
became so strongly impressed by representations made to 
him by military officers and others that it would be impos- 
sible to obtain a conviction from juries of the country, and 
was so perplexed with the difficulties which he imagined 
must attend the proceeding with these trials while the enemy 
occupied part of the same district, that he wrote to me ex- 
pressing his conviction that it would be unwise to persevere, 
and that the Commission must be abandoned, at least for 
the present. 

I remonstrated, stating the injurious effect this would 
have upon public feeling, and venturing to assure him that 
it was impossible the prosecutions could all fail. He allowed 
the trials to proceed; and out of twenty-one prisoners tried 
for high treason, seventeen were convicted upon the clearest 
evidence. 1 

In these trials there were no Crown officers to assist me, 
I had no one to share the responsibility with me of Public 
Prosecutor, and the enemy were all the time in possession 
of a part of the district in which the Court sat. I mention 
it as a curious fact that, so far as my department as Attorney- 
General was concerned, the whole expense to the Government 
was, I think, about 4>5Q. What would have been the cost 
in England? 

Thus by the ordinary course of law, by the result of fair and 
legal trial by juries of the country, in which the defendants 
had all those opportunities and advantages of defence which 
the law, peculiarly indulgent in such cases, has provided for 
them, the Government were enabled to make those examples 
which completely secured the province against treason and 

1 Kingsford, in his "History of Canada," vol. viii. p. 471, gives the 
nes of eight of these prisoners in whose cases the extreme penalty of 


the law was carried out. 


rebellion during the remainder of the war, and which it was 
very generally imagined and imprudently asserted could only 
be effected by the exercise of less constitutional jurisdiction. 

Executions of traitors by martial law would have had 
comparatively little influence ; the people would have con- 
sider^! i IK-HI as arbitrary acts of vengeance, but would not 
have acknowledged them as the natural effects of justice. 

Peace came in 1815, and we had happily got well through 
all difficulties. The Solicitor-General had obtained his liberty 
and returned from France to England. The Government in 
England, very justlv, promoted him to be Attorney-General, 
and made me Solicitor-General, 1 my appointment as Attorney- 
General having been only provisional and temporary. I 
not yet in the Legislature, no election having occurred since I 
became of age; and, desiring to see England, and to free 
mv.H-lf from the disadvantages of a rule, which was said then 
to prevail in the Colonial Office, to appoint no one to be 
Attorney-General, or Chief-Justice, of a colony who was not 
a member of the English Bar, I obtained leave of absence 
from Sir Frederick Robinson, who was then our Lieutenant- 
Governor, and went to England in September 1815, with the 
intention of keeping as many terms in Lincoln's Inn as my 
leave would allow. 

The Government kindly gave me as long a leave as they 
could, and the Secretary of State extended it, so as to enable 
me to keep, I think, eight or nine terms at Lincoln's Inn ; but 
I was obliged to return before I could complete twelve terms, 
which was the requisite number, and I could not, at anv rate, 
have been called to the English Bar till I had been of five years' 
standing in the books, though my twelve terms could have 
been kept in three years. I thought myself fortunate in get- 
ting so near the accomplishment of my object. The Secretary 
of State was most indulgent in granting so long a leave, and 
I suppose was induced to do it by the letters which Sir Gordon 
Drummond and Sir George Murray, under whom I had served, 
wrote on my behalf. 

1 His commission as Solicitor-General is dated February 6, 181.5. 


An armistice of thirty days upon the Niagara 
frontier was agreed to, after the battle of Queens- 
ton Heights, but at its conclusion the war was 
resumed, though the campaign for that year was 
virtually over. 

On returning to the army (after escorting the 
prisoners to Kingston), and being informed of his 
appointment to be Acting Attorney- General of the 
Upper Province, my father appears not to have gone 
back to York, with a view to being called to the 
Bar, as promptly as was expected. 

Dr. Strachan writes to him : 

YORK, November 9, 1812. 

DEAR JOHN, All your friends are astonished that you 
have not come over to the term in order to be admitted to 
the Bar. Not being aware of what may have detained you, 
I doubt not but you have a satisfactory reason. My object 
in writing is to request you to get leave of absence instantly, 
and come over with the first vessel. Do not delay a moment 
for baggage. You have no time to lose, as the term is nearly 
expired. . . . 

We are all well, and salute you affectionately, 


After proceeding to York, my father wrote thus 
to General Sheaffe : 

December 12, 1812. 

In the flank company of Militia to which I belong, there 
are two subaltern officers, besides myself : and, if I should be 
ordered to remain here, may I be suffered still to retain my 
commission, so that I shall have some certain character to 
appear in, when any particular occasion shall call for the assist- 
ance of all. 

He was evidently instructed to take up his civil 
duties as Attorney-General, though he apparently 



stained his commission in the Militia force. He 
gazetted captain, 25th Dec-ember 1812. :*rd 
Regiment York Militia ; major, 21st January 1820, 
2nd Regiment York Militia ; colonel, 1st January 
1823, 2nd Regiment East York Militia. On March 
11, 1813, his name appears in Militia orders as one 
of a board of officers appointed " to examine into 
and report on all claims for disbursements or for 
services performed for militia purposes in the Home 
and Niagara districts." 

Though he never again took the field, he witm 
in 1813 the occupation of York, which was taken by 
the enemy during the time when the American fleet 
was superior on Lake Ontario. 

On this occasion lie accompanied Colonel Chewett 
and Major Allan, who had been deputed by General 
Shcatte to make the best terms possible with the 
United States officer in command. 1 

By the terms of the capitulation, the troops, 
regulars and militia, at York, became prisoners of 
war, and the Americans secured all public stores, 
naval and military. 

Private property w r as to be respected, but this 
condition was not duly observed, and some of the 
public buildings were burnt to the ground. 

For some time to come, my father's duties and 
occupations were more or less closely connected with 
the war, though of a civil nature, and some of the 
work which devolved upon him as Attorney-General 
must have been onerous and perplexing for one so 

He has mentioned that the first legal opinion he 

1 " Memoir of Bishop Strachan," by Bishop Bet 
Kingsford's "History of Canada/' vol. viii., p. iv.:>, fte, 

Bethune, 1870, and 


had to give was whether the inhabitants of the 
Michigan Territory, which was conquered when 
Hull and his army surrendered, could be compelled 
to render military service against the United States 
as militia while the war was still going on. 

A rather curious point was here involved. In 
the capitulation between Brock and Hull no mention 
of the Michigan Territory was made, although the 
proclamation issued by Brock, immediately after the 
capitulation and on the same day, commences with 
the words : " Whereas the Territory of Michigan 
was this day by capitulation ceded to the arms of 
His Britannic Majesty." 

My father's opinion is thus recorded : 

December 22, 1812. 

I am of opinion that they cannot. By the capitulation of 
the 16th August 1812, Fort Detroit only, with the troops, 
regulars as well as militia, were surrendered to the British 
forces. The consequent proclamation issued by General Brock 
does include the Michigan Territory, but that is merely an 
instrument ex parte, proceeding from the capitulation ; and 
whereas it contradicts it, it can have no effect. 

He continued to take a great interest in every- 
thing connected with the welfare of the Militia, whose 
privations during the campaign of 1812 had been 

It has seldom been otherwise with our troops 
when called upon, after many years of peace, to 
enter upon a campaign. Arrangements for equip- 
ment, clothing, and transport had to be hastily carried 
out, and were far from satisfactory. 

General Brock writes : 


February 12, 1812. 

I have not a musket more than will suffice to arm the active 
of the Militia from Kingston westward. 

And on July 3rd 

The King's stores are now at so low an ebb that they 
scarcely furnish any article of use or comfort. Blankets, 
iversacks, and kettles all to be purchased, and the troops, 
lien watching the banks of the river, stand in the utmost 
iced of tents. 

Again on July 12th 

The Militia assembled in a wretched state with regard to 
clothing. Many were without shoes, an article which can 
scarcely he provided in the country. Should the troops have 
to move, the want of tents will be severely felt. 

The 2500 stand of small arms captured at Detroit 
were of infinite value. 

Friends in York, however, were not forgetful, and 
did all they could on behalf of the soldi crs. 

Dr Strachan writes thus to my father while he 
was still on the Niagara frontier : 

November 22, 1812. 

MY DEAR JOHN, In consequence of a hint in the letters of 
Mr. G. Ridout and Mr. Robert Stanton to their respective 
fathers, the gentlemen of York met to-day in the church for 
the purpose of subscribing towards the comforts of the Militia 
belonging to this district on actual service, especially the Hank 

Our subscription, though not yet paid, amounts to J 150, 
and we wish your and Captain Reward's advice how to dispose 
of it for the most advantage of the men. Your brother, 
Captain Robinson, thinks that the captains of the York 
Militia should make a requisition upon the Quartermaster- 
General for flannel sufficient to make two shirts for every one 


that wants them, and thread, &c., to make them up, together 
with a pair of stockings for each, and we will supply the 
captains with the amount. If there is any difficulty in making 
them up, we can get it done here instantly. The Militia will 
be much pleased when they know with what alacrity the sub- 
scription proceeded. 

To Lieut. JOHN B. ROBINSON, Brown's Point, by Niagara. 

In December 1812 the "Loyal and Patriotic 
Society of Upper Canada " was formed in York. 
Its original object was a double one : 

1. The aid and relief of the families of militiamen 
in distress in consequence of the absence of husbands 
and relations in defence of the province ; and 
militiamen themselves, disabled in the service. 

2. To reward merit and commemorate glorious 
exploits by bestowing medals or other marks of dis- 
tinction for extraordinary instances of courage or 
fidelity shown by either the regular or militia forces. 

Of this Society Chief- Justice Scott was president, 
and the directors who attended the first meeting were 
Judge Campbell, the Reverend Dr. Strachan, John 
Small, William Chewett, my father, William Allan, 
Grant Powell, and Alexander Wood (secretary). 

A report of the proceedings of this Society was 
published in 1817. 

It not only shows the liberality of the subscribers 
to its funds, but details all the hard cases of loss and 
suffering relieved, with the estimated value of the 
houses and property burnt or destroyed by the 

The Society was strictly a voluntary and private 
one, and received no aid from Government funds. 
Contributions came from England, Jamaica, Canadf 
Xova Scotia, &c. Sir Gordon Drummond and Si] 



Roger Shcaffe sent liberal subscriptions, that of the 
former being especially so, viz., 500 (his prize money 
br the capture of Niagara). 

The Militia garrison at Yore all ranks gave 
one day's pay. 

In all, C 17,000 was collected. 

After dealing with the cases of distress caused by 
the war, the hospital in Toronto was built in 1820 
with the balance remaining in hand. Here those 
who had been wounded or lost their health in the 
service, and many others, obtained relief. 

Kingsford, in his "History of Canada," vol. viii., 
,ge 235, thus speaks of this Society, in the adminis- 
tration of which my father took a great and active 

It is a source of pride and satisfaction to know that the 

object to effect which the "Loyal and Patriotic Society" was 

formed was /ealously, ably, and unceasingly kept in promin- 

, and that the duties it entailed were admirably performed. 

Though Gl gold and 548 silver medals were struck 
in England for this Society, they were, in the end, 
never issued, both on account of the difficulty of 
selecting those to receive them, and because it was in 
many quarters considered an undue assumption for a 
private society to confer medals for public military 
service, this pertaining to the sovereign alone. 

The design and fate of these medals is given in 
Appendix A., II. 

There was a determined resolution throughout 
Canada to carry on the w r ar, and every endeavour 
was made to contribute to the comfort of the troops. 

In an exhortation pronounced after the sermon, 


or rather in continuation of it, at York on 22nd 
November 1812, Dr. Strachan says : 

The time for forbearance is now past, and we must come 
forward with courage and alacrity. We must not be anxiously 
inquiring for flags of truce, for conditions of peace, for respites 
from the war, but we must prepare for the event. . . . 

England expects all her children to do their duty. It is 
ours, at this moment, to comfort those who are fighting our 
battles and defending everything dear to us at the hazard of 
their lives. 

It has been justly said by more than one writer 
upon the war of 1812-15 that the exertions and 
patriotism of the Canadian Militia as a body have 
never been properly understood beyond Canada. 

The reason of this probably is, that at the time of 
the war public attention in England, and in Europe 
generally, was engrossed by the struggle with 
Napoleon, and also that the sense of defeat upon 
the American Continent caused in England by the 
result of the War of Independence, and by certain 
reverses or failures in 1813 and 1814, upon the 
Lakes, at Plattsburg, and at New Orleans, was so 
general, that it has led many to the very erroneous 
impression that the whole war we are now alluding 
to was, in some way or other, a reverse. 

Thus the victories of Detroit and Queenston in 
1812 ; that of Chateauguay ; the wonderful night 
attack at Stoney Creek, one of the most successful 
in history ; the repulse at Chrystler's Farm ; the cap- 
ture of Fort Niagara ; the defeat of several separate 
invasions of Canada ; and the complete triumph in 
the end of the British arms, have never met with 
the general recognition which is their due. 

\Vluit is much wanted is that the history of every 


portion of the Empire, and of how it has been built 
up and maintained, should be made a special subject 
of education in England and also in the Colonies. 
My father, writing in England in 1839, says : 

It is often a subject of lamentation in the Colonies that so 
little scums known in England of their actual condition, but I 
doubt whether there is any reasonable ground for a complaint 
on that score. 

The people of this country, like their brethren in the 
Colonies, probably study those things most which appear most 
immediately and directly to concern them ; and, after all, I 
daresay they know quite as much of us as we do of the British 
Colonies in other quarters of the world. 

Still, unquestionably, this is a branch of knowledge which 
Imits of being better cultivated. 

It is admittedly, however, better cultivated now 
than it was in 1839. In the sixty years which have 
elapsed since the above words were written, a great 
change has taken place. Colonial subjects are now 
studied as they never were before : the affection 
between England and her Colonies has deepened ; 
their pride and interest in each other is increasing 
day by day ; and much is being done to cement 
more closely the bonds which unite the Empire. 
We may even go further now and hope for a time 
when there will be a union, based upon mutual 
respect, of the whole Anglo-Saxon race, though 
serving under more than one flag. 

During 1813 and 1814, my father's name appears 
as one of the " Church Wardens and Town Wardens 
of the Town of York." Also, though more serious 
occupations must, while the war was going on, have 
left him little time for the amusements natural to 
his age, the following memoranda, found among his 


^ Managers. 


papers, show that he shared in these, and acted 
as one of the managers of the York Assemblies in 
January 1814 : 

Subscription for the York Assemblies. 

To be held once a fortnight. 

The subscribers to meet at Gilbert's, on Tuesday the 4th 
inst., at 2 o'clock. 

Military gentlemen stationed at York are permitted to 
subscribe either for the night at 12/6 Halifax C y , or for the 
remainder of the season. 

Subscribers are requested to call on Mr. J. Robinson, one 
of the managers, to pay the amount of the subscription, 10 
dollars, and receive tickets for the season. 1 


A ball had been previously given (in December 
1813) to the ladies and strangers of York, to cele- 
brate the announcement of the capture of Niagara 
by storm on 19th December 1813. I 

The names of the subscribers to these early enter- 
tainments in Toronto may be of interest in Canada, 
so are, together with some other details as to them, 
given in Appendix A., III. 

During the year 1814, peace having been made 
with France, the British Government was able to 
send out to Canada several of the regiments which 
had fought under Wellington in Spain and the south 
of France a force amounting in all to about 16,000 

One of the brigades in this force was commanded 
by General (afterwards Sir Frederick) Robinson ; 2 and 

The first Assembly was held at O'Keefe's Tavern on Tuesday evening, 
llth January 1814, dancing commencing at seven o'clock. 
3 See Appendix B., III. 


during the war his brother, Commissary - General 
(afterwards Sir William) Robinson, had charge of 
the commissariat department for some time. 

My father thus made the acquaintance of both 
these sons of Colonel Iteverley Robinson between 
ic years 1813 and 1815 in Canada, and met them 
several occasions, receiving no little kindness from 

On the 24th December 1814, peace was, by the 
Treaty of Ghent, signed between Great Britain and 
the United States of America. 

I will mention at this point, as it bears upon the 
war, that my father, when in England in 1839, was 
requested to put on paper the measures which, from 
liis long acquaintance with the country, he considered 
would most tend to give security and confidence to 

Writing then to Lord Normanby, Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, 2!)th March 1839 (i.e., after 
the experience of 1812-15 and of the occurrences at 
Navy Island in the rebellion of 1837-38), he advo- 
cated the following measures for defence : 

1. That to a moderate extent those naval establishments 
should be restored upon the Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, 
which were continued for some time after the peace of 1815, 
ami which it will probably never be safe to dispense with 

. That the attention of the Government should be given 
to forming a naval depot at Penetanguishene, on Lake Huron, 
that being a post which may be easily secured against attack, 
and to which there is now no difficulty, since the completion 
of the Welland Canal, in transporting the heaviest stores by 

3. That there should be established certain strong posts 


in Upper Canada, as depots for arms and ammunition, in 
which garrisons could be constantly kept sufficient to guard 
them, and upon which the Militia could rally in case of in- 
surrection or invasion. For instance, some points on the line 
of the Rideau Canal, Kingston, Toronto, Burlington Heights, 
London, Lundy's Lane, Chatham, Penetanguishene, small 
garrisons being kept up at Niagara and Amherstburg. 

4. That some colonial corps be raised for a long period 
of service in the British North-American Colonies only. 

5. That at some two points in the province guns and 
artillery stores shall be kept sufficient for the defence of the 
province against any sudden emergency e.g. at Kingston and 
Burlington Heights. 

6. That whatever may be done in the establishment of 
posts, erection of barracks, &c., shall be done in such a manner 
as to prove that the Government is pursuing a deliberately 
settled plan of defence, with the intention of maintaining the 
dominion of the Crown permanently. I mean by this that 
mud forts and wooden barracks are not the description of 
defence calculated to give confidence on one side or discourage 
restless spirits on the other. 

My father also says, in " Canada and the Canada 
Bill" (1840): 

Fourteen or fifteen years ago, when the Duke of Wellington 
was in office, he determined to erect a work in a commanding 
position near the Niagara frontier, which would have included 
an arsenal, and formed a rallying-point for the Militia of the 
country. The site of the intended work was purchased, and 
measures were in progress for commencing it; but a change 
in the affairs of this country (England) led to an abandon- 
ment of the design, and the land was relinquished to the 
former owner. If such a defence, however limited in extent, 
had been completed, and had been garrisoned by 200 men, 
who could probably nowhere else have found a cheaper quarter, 
the movement at Navy Island (during the rebellion of 1837-38) 
and its whole train of consequences would have been pre- 


Elsewhere (see chap. iv.), in connection with the 
projected removal of the capital from York (Tor- 
onto), he also touches upon the importance and 
defensibility of York at this time. 

Certainly one #rcat lesson taught by the war, and 
>y the way in which success during it fluctuated with 
the command of the Lakes, is the vital importance of 
this command to Canada. 1 

In connection with this, the following letter from 
Duke of Wellington to Sir George Murray" 
lould never be lost sight of: 

To L'h-ntcuunt-General Sir 6Vorv J///ra7/y, K.B. 

PAIU>. i::_W l),;;-n<t,,>r 1814. 

. . Whether Sir George Prevost was right or wrong in 
lis decision at Lake t'hamplain is more than I can tell, but 
of this I am very certain, he must equally have retired to 
Kingston, after our fleet was beaten, and I am inclined to 
believe he v\as right. 

I have told the Ministers repeatedly that a naval superiority 
the Lakes is a .sine qua non of success in war on the frontier 
Canada, even if our object should be solely defensive, and I 
hope, when you are there, they will take care to secure it for 
you. Believe me, &c., WELLINGTON. 

It may be of interest to give my father's opinion 
as to the effects which the separation of the Ameri- 
can Colonies from Great Britain in the Revolutionary 
War, the war of 1812-15, and some other circum- 

1 I am aware that the maintenance of any men-of-war upon the Lakes 
in time of peace is now regulated by treaty with the United States; but, 
not forgetting this, there is still much in the above s indirection deserving of 
serious consideration now, having regard to the difficulty of securing the 
p;i. Hire of gunboats through the canals and to the American establishments 
on the Lake borders. 

2 " Despatches of the Duke of Wellington/' Gurwood, vol. xii., p. 224. 


stances, have had upon Canada, in respect more 
especially to the maintenance and strengthening of 
British connection. 

Writing in 1839, 1 he says : 

By those who are sufficiently humble to believe in the exist- 
ence of a superior intelligence, it is very frequently remarked, 
as they pass through life, how much better matters have been 
ordered for them by Providence than they would have been 
ordered by themselves. 

Let any one look attentively at the map of North America, 
and mark what were once the possessions of Great Britain upon 
that Continent, and what portion of them she still retains. 
Then let him consider how frequently, and even within the 
present century, historians and statesmen have lamented the 
loss of those immense colonies (such as no nation ever before 
possessed) which form now the Republic of the United States. 
We have heard by turns the policy condemned which led to 
the revolt, and the military blunders deplored which rendered 
it successful. . . . 

But no one who desires that the British power should con- 
tinue for ages to maintain its ground in North America can 
now think these events unfortunate. 

They (the Colonies) must soon have outgrown the conditions 
in which they would have required protection; they have 
already long outgrown it ; and the conflicting interests of 
trade, with the inconveniences which mere distance occasions 
in the exercise of an actual superintendence, would sooner or 
later have produced desires strong enough to overbear the 
feelings of attachment and the sense of duty . . . more 
especially in Colonies settled as these have been. 

But is it not clear that if the event had been delayed, those 
other possessions upon the American Continent which Great 
Britain still retains would have become peopled with colonists 
of the same description, and that when at last the struggle 
came, all would have gone together ? 

> "Canada and the Canada Bill/' written and published by him whil< 
in England, 1839. 


If we admit, as I think we must, that the circumstance of 
the older colonies having severed the connection at so early a 
date has been in fact the means of saving the present British 
provinces to the Mother Country, it is scarcely less certain that 
the war of 1812, which was engaged in by the United States 
mainly for the purpose of subjugating the Canadas, has 
had the effect of binding them much more strongly to the 

Nor are these the only circumstances, supposed at the time 
to be unfortunate, in which events have strongly tended to the 
reservation of British power on that Continent (America). 

Every one knows that at the conclusion of the American 
Revolutionary War in 1783, by some strange mismanagement 
of the British negotiators, there was ceded to the late American 
Ionics not mt'ivlv their independence, but with it an hum. 
'gion to which they had no claim I mean that Western and 
North- Western territory which is now becoming the abode of 

This, too, has been reckoned a misfortune, but a little con- 
sideration, I think, will convince us that, after all, it is not to 
be regretted. 

A country of such boundless extent, of such variety of 
climate and production, to a great part of which the Mississippi 
and not the St. Lawrence is the natural outlet, would hardly 
have been maintained for a long period in dependence on the 

; British Crown. 
... In the event of war, the territory would have been much 
o remote a field for British forces to have acted in with effect, 
r they would have been too distant from their resources. 
. . . Being divided from the United States by no natural 
Boundary, the amalgamation of a people speaking the same 
language would long before this time have proceeded to such 
an extent as to decide, almost silently, the question of country. 
... I do really believe, therefore, that the Englishman 
who desires that his country should retain a permanent footing 
upon that Continent (America), and the British-American 
colonist who earnestly hopes, as the bulk of them do, that the 
connexion may continue while the British name lasts, have 


both of them reason to rejoice in the facts I have adverted to, 
and to be more than contented that matters now stand pre- 
cisely as they do. . . . 

To pass on now from the subject of the war. 
When, after the peace, Mr. Boulton returned to 
Canada from his imprisonment in France, and was 
appointed Attorney-General, relieving my father, 
who was nominated to be Solicitor-General, from 
the duties he had been provisionally performing, 
the latter's project of proceeding to England for 
the purpose of travelling and qualifying for the 
English Bar was assisted in every way by Sir 
Gordon Drummond, the Lieutenant - Governor of 
Upper Canada, who wrote the following letter on 
his behalf to Sir George Murray, then about to 
succeed him as Lieutenant- Governor : 

CASTLE OP ST. Louis, QUEBEC, May 1, 1815. 

MY DEAR SIR GEORGE, Allow me to introduce to your 
favourable notice Mr. Robinson, the Solicitor-General in your 
province, who is a young man of most exemplary character 
and talents, that afford every prospect of his becoming both an 
ornament to the province and a most zealous and able supporter 
of the interests of the Crown. 

... I should not have hesitated for a moment to have met 
his views in regard to visiting England for the laudable purpose 
of being there called to the Bar. 

I shall therefore hope his application will meet your coun- 
tenance and support, and I beg you will believe me to be, my 
dear Sir George, your faithful and humble servant, 

Lieut-General Sir GEORGE MURRAY, G.C.B. 

But though he then obtained leave of absence, 
unexpected and urgent business delayed his depar- 
ture, and it was not until some few months later 
that he left Canada, with leave for six months from 


the 1st of September 1815, granted by Sir Frederick 
Robinson, then Provisional Lieutenant-Go vernor of 
the Upper Province. 

Uis voyage to England in the sloop-ol 
Morg'uindi Captain Xewton, in which he was given 
a passage from Quebec to Portsmouth, was remark- 
able as being one of the fastest, if not the fast 
ever made under sail. 

While staying at Quebec waiting for a favour- 
able wind, a violent contrary gale having set in, he 
was assured that the Morgiann could not sail for 
some length of time, but suddenly at night the wind 
changed ; signal guns from the ship had failed to 
attract attention, and in the morning lie found that 
ic Morgiana had sailed without him. 

He had hurriedly to engage a pilot boat floating 
in the stream, for 6, and follow the vessel to the 
Brandy Pots, 38 leagues, where she would certainly 
stop for wood. 

We now quote largely from his journal. 

Sunday, 2 I/A ^-/.fnnher 1815. 

. . . Mrs. Charles Stewart, the daughter of the late Donald 
M'Lean of York, with her warm friendly heart, insisted on 
putting into the boat some porter, wine, and bread and cheese ; 
the pilot had some warm clothes and provisions, and thus 
without a mouthful of breakfast, and with a cold which made 
it almost impossible for me to speak, I set out. The night 
was not dark, but lia/y and very cold. The old man and I 
steered by turns, as he required some sleep. 

At length, after a run of about twelve hours, they 
overtook a large ship anchored just at the entrance 
of " The Traverse," some 66 miles from Quebec, and 
hailing her, found her to be the Morgiana, but were 
carried past her. 


They did not discover us until it was too late to throw out 
a rope, and such was the irresistible force of the tide that we 
shot past her in an instant. We all took to our oars, but it 
was in vain ; we were borne away rapidly, and our only course 
was to run across to the nearest shore till the tide slackened. 
We came to anchor about a mile out; the swell tossed our 
little boat about prodigiously, and the cold was so great that 
we could sleep but little. Just before daylight we renewed our 
efforts. The wind had increased, and blew violently, but by 
the help of the tide, which was now with us, we got on board 
at daylight. My cold was much increased by my exposure, 
and I slept badly. In the afternoon we made the Brandy Pots, 
and came to anchor. 

The rest of his voyage was a prosperous one, and 
with Captain Newton and his officers, all of whom 
were most attentive, he passed a very pleasant time 
of it. 

The Morgiana is an uncommonly snug fine vessel of her 
class. She was built at Bermuda in 1812, of cedar ; is a sloop- 
of-war of eighteen guns. Her crew consists of a master and 
commander, two lieutenants (George Robinson and William 
Rid g way), one master (Mr. Ramsay), surgeon (Dr. Cosgrave), a 
clerk, purser (Mr. Wallace), master's mate, three midshipmen, 
carpenter, sailmaker, quartermasters, boatswain, gunner, 125 
seamen, and 20 marines. Captain Scott formerly commanded 
her. Captain Newton, until he joined this ship last year, had 
the Nimrod, a sloop-of-war, off the coast of America. He 
took many small craft, few of much value. 

Off the Great Bank of Newfoundland the captain 
determined to stop and fish for cod. 

The following extract describes a good day's 
fishing : 

Every ship^s company are provided with fishing lines by 
Government, one line to each mess ; and it is curious to see the 
anxiety of each person for the success of his mess. The captain 




fished for our mess and caught five large cod and two halibuts, 
which he gave awav. Lieutenant Robinson was the great 
fisherman of the gunroom mess. He was very successful, and 
caught eight or ten very fine codfish, besides an immense 
halibut. The taking of this monster excited as much bustle 
and noise of the whole ship's crew as the carrying away a mast. 

We got out the jolly-boat, and with great difficulty took 
r in. Cut up and \\eighed in pieces, she weighed .4o pounds. 

The codfish taken here were all uncommonly large and in 
fine season. Some of the lines caught from twelve to twenty 



The ship became a strange scene during the day. A range 
of lines all along the windward side, and two or three large fish 
constantly hauling up; the jolly-boat manned and rowing oft 

take up those too large or insecurely hooked to be pulled 
up the ship's side, and also to pick up such as drop from 
the hook after they are raided out of the water; for from some 
cause they generally remain floating on the surface, though 
some sink. 

The decks were all bustle, full of fish ; some fellows cleaning 
the fish, others salting, others hoisting them up the rigging to 
dry. The sailors make incisions on the back denoting the 
number of the mess the fish belong to. What each man takes 
is considered sacredly his, and the officers claim none; so that, 
if they are unlucky in fishing, they buy or beg. Here, how- 
ever, we had no need. 

\Ye fished in about forty fathoms of water, and kept the 
hook near the bottom, which made it no trifling job to haul 
up a fish. 

From the " Banks " in nine more days, with a 
following gale the whole way, so that they were 
never compelled to vary one point from their course, 
they w r ere in soundings in the English Channel, 
having made on an average of this time nearly nine 
knots an hour. 

At 11 A.M. (October 16, 1815) we anchored at Spithead, 
having had just twenty-two days'* run from Quebec to Ports- 


mouth. Deduct two and a half days we were at anchor in the 
river getting wood, and the day we fished at Newfoundland 
Bank, we were only eighteen and a half days from Quebec to 
Portsmouth a thing almost unexampled. 

The next morning, at 7 A.M., my father set off in 
the " Waterloo " light coach from the Crown Inn at 
Portsmouth for London. 

The waiter scraped towards me, and I answered his signal 
with 3s. He then begged leave to remind me of the chamber- 
maid. I told him she was "provided for. 1 ' "Boots, sir, if 
you please ! " Now I had put my boots on as I took them 
off; therefore, as there must be some end to imposition, I 
observed that neither I nor my boots had been introduced 
to him. 

I found that, though the coachman expected a token 
beyond his fare, and the waiter had gotten one, neither one 
nor the other would presume to lay hands upon my trunk. 
That was a separate concern, of which I was soon made sensible 
by the amusing hint, " Remember the porter, sir ! " Thus I 
was obliged to detail another shilling. This, however, only 
had virtue sufficient to bring my trunk to the side of the 
" Waterloo,"" when all that had anything to do with it before 
were now perfectly functi officio, and a worthy fat creature 
kindly put it on the boot, and most politely addressed me with 
" Please remember the porter to the coach, your honour." 

My generosity fell one-half, and I had the conscience to 
offer him only 6d. 

Certainly, however, when you have got through this cere- 
mony, you travel like a gentleman. The style of everything is 
respectable. Jonathan takes you the same distance, through 
worse roads, for half the money, and if he does not tickle you 
with " your honour," neither does he ask or look for shillings. 

But then he drives you in his shirt-sleeves, and himself, his 
horses, harness, and carriage are all types of independence, 
independence of comfort, appearance, and decorum. 

Travelling by Petersfield, Godalming, and Kings- 




n, he got, at the latter place, his first view of 
Father Thames. It struck him, accustomed to the 
great rivers and lakes in America, as small. " I do 
aver that in this place, only twelve miles ahove Lon- 
don, it barely rates with the Don Jonathan would call 
it a Creek ; " and then, passing by Richmond Park, 
and across Wimbledon Common, through Wands- 
worth, and over Westminster Uridge, lie drove up 
the Strand by Charing Cross, where he had a 
" moonlight glimpse of the equestrian statue of 
Charles I., remarkable from being the first erected 
in the United Kingdom/' and drew up at the (iolden 
Cross Inn, where lie remained for the night. 

I have given the above journey to London, as it 
is interesting to compare the mode and expense of 
travelling in 1815 with that of the present day. 

The inside coach fare was Cl, 15s. from Ports- 
outh to London, plus 9s. extra for one trunk 
(" which was a little above the ordinary size "), i.e. 
in all 2, 4s., in addition to tips, &c., and meals on 
the way. The time occupied on the journey, in- 
cluding stoppages, must have been about twelve 
hours. The distance by road, owing to the wind- 
ings, was no doubt some miles greater than the 
present distance by rail (73J miles), over which one 
now travels, first-class, by express, in two hours, 
for 12s. 2d. 

The next day, Mr. Andre, 120 New Bond Street, 
supplied him with "a hat for l, 16s., and 5s. Gd. 
for a common oil-cover," and he and his two little 
daughters surveyed the guineas my father had brought 
from Canada with him with much astonishment. 

" That is a veiy strange sight, sir, here ; I've seen 
nothing like them this long time." 


After a few days he settled down in lodgings at 
30 Craven Street, Strand, where a friend, Lieutenant 
Pearson, of the Navy, was living, and the period of 
two years which he now spent in England and on 
the Continent for his original leave of absence was 
extended was both a useful and happy one. 

For the next nine months he remained chiefly in 
London, and at the end of that time went for a short 
trip on the Continent. 

His position as Solicitor-General of Upper Canada, 
and the introductions he had taken with him, enabled 
him to see more of English life and society than so 
young a man, without any near relations in the 
country, could well have expected. 

The Solicit or- General (Sir Samuel Shepherd) 
showed him much kindness ; and, through him, the 
Attorney- General, and other legal men of standing, 
he was able to see everything connected with the 
English courts and their proceedings. 

Throughout this time he read steadily for his 
profession, and was constantly meeting old friends 
in the Army and Navy, with whom he had been 
thrown in Canada during the war, and also Cana- 
dian acquaintances. 

A letter from Sir Frederick Robinson to Mr. 
Merry, then Deputy Secretary at War, led to the 
great happiness of his life, i.e. his marriage ; and 
with the Merry family and their relations he spent 
much of his time. 



ury Lane Theatre: Kenn, Pope Covent Garden: Mis^ O'Neill 
kemhle Sir Samuel Shepherd Sir \\ . Garrow- Sir \Y. Grant 
Sir Samuel Romilly -Sir J. Man>tield The Exchequer Court Old 
Book<eller -Mr. Ridout .- -Lord Mayor's Day Lord Kllenborouifh 
Dinner at Lincoln's Inn Covent Garden: Mi-s Ste\ en>, Matthews, 
Liston Court of Common Pleas: Copley, Sir V. Gibl>s- The Merry 
Family Chapel Royal, Whitehall Illuminations for the Pence 
We>tmin-ter Hall : llrou heating witnesses Huonaparte Card-play- 
ing \\ool\vicli : Colonel Pilkhiirton -Henry J. Boulton -Oxford 
lllenheim--Kvenin<r parties Letters from Sir Frederick Robinson 
IIi> views and Dr. St radian's as to removing the seat of Government 
from ^'ork to Kingston Memorandum as to this Advi-ed to remain 
in Fiiirland -The Canada Cluh Covent Garden Theatrical Fund 
dinner Sir II. Sheaffe Mr. .Justice Grose Lord Krskine Ilou>e of 
Lords -House of Commons- St. (ieorire Lelievre Sjiarriiiir : Crib, 
lielcher The llinir : Carter, Lancaster Mrs. ( Jarratt Marriaire of 
I'rince<s Charlotte- Literary Fund dinner The Old Bailey- Mr-. 
Siddons The Booths Norwich Campbell the poet Harwich 
lp>\\ich Miss Forth. 

From my Fathers Journal. 

October 19, 1815. In the evening I took it into my head 
to stroll to Drury Lane Theatre. The tragedy was " Othello." 
and the great, the famous Mr. Kean, personated the swarthy 

The audience clapped and applauded where his perform- 
ance was most (nitre and unnatural. His figure, diminutive, 
thin, and ungraceful, could be supposed to resemble the Moor 
in nothing but its blackness. 

In general he was boisterous, when he should have been 
tender and subdued. 

Pope in lago I thought better. 

The after-piece, " The Deserter," was infinitely better done. 



Mrs. Bland in Jenny was excellent. Knight in Simkin was 
nature itself, and Munden in Skirmish performed very well. 

I went on Saturday evening to Covent Garden. Miss 
O'Neill in Isabella is far beyond any actor in tragedy I have 
seen. Liston is an excellent comic performer. 

9.1st October. Called at Sir Samuel Shepherd's 1 with a 
letter to him from Miss Russell, and to Lady Shepherd from 
Mrs. Lowen. Sir Samuel had that moment returned to town 
from his annual excursion to the country. He was dressing, 
and in his flannel jacket, but desired to see me without cere- 
mony, and gave me a most hearty kind reception. He said he 
promised himself the pleasure of seeing me at his own house 
very often. 

. . . John Kemble having returned to town, I felt great 
anxiety to hear him, his name being familiar to me from my 
infancy. I went with Towers Boulton to hear him in " Corio- 
lanus." His figure and face and his action became the character 
admirably, but his hollow voice and short breath are painfully 

Sometimes he utters a commonplace sentence, such as " How 
are you ? " or " I hear you,"" with such a misplaced vehemence 
of voice and extravagant action that it is quite ridiculous. 

SQth October. I called to-day about twelve on Sir Samuel 
Shepherd to mention to him my intention to enter myself of 
one of the law societies, and my view in doing so ; and also to 
learn his opinion as to the probability of my obtaining leave 
of absence. . . . 

He was just going into the country, but, with the greatest 
friendship and politeness, entered into the fullest consideration 
of the subject with all the anxious interest of an old friend or 

The result is that, by his advice, I will, at all events, enter 
my name immediately, that my time may be at once going on, 
and I shall have gained something, if I have at last to return 
before I am admitted. I bought of the steward a book of the 
rules, &c. 

The Solicitor-General. 


3rd November. Called at the Solicitor-General's office. lie 
and his sons are my referees, and the Attorney-General joins in 
the approval. The Solicitor-Genera] and Mr. Kemble are my 
bondsmen to the Society. All this was entirely unsolicited, 
and Sir Samuel was pleased to say that it was no more than I 
ras entitled to expect from Sir William Garrow } ami himself. . . 

. . . Went with Charles Murray to hear the Master of the 

11s, Sir William Grant, dispose of Chancery petitions. I 
was much gratified and pleased that I had gone. He says 
little on the matters brought before him, but decides promptly, 
without, however, any appearance of haste, and with perfect 
composure and good temper. 

Sir Samuel Komilly is a very different man from the idea I 
had conceived of him. Exceedingly plain, open, and candid in 
his manner, with a most conciliatory voice, really the mosl -o 
of any I have heard, a respectful and gentlemanlike manner, 
though warm and interesting his countenance peculiarly 

6th November. At twelve went to Westminster to see the 
Courts open the first day of term. This was my first sight of 
Westminster Hall or any of its Appendages, The Judges had 
not yet arrived. We found the hall full of gentlemen and 
ladies and men and women waiting in anxious expectation to 
see the Judges and Chancellors pass to their respective Courts. 
The young lawyers, with their wigs and gowns, parading 
through the hall with a lady on each arm, made rather a 
grotesque appearance. 

Soon the Judges came, and followed each other into their 
respective Courts. Sir James Mansfield, the present Chief 
Justice of the Common Pleas, is very aged, and his whole 
frame seems to be fast giving way to infirmity. lie totters in 
his step and moves feebly. Some years ago he was remarkable 
for a stern firmness of manner. 

Finding it impossible to crowd into the other Courts, we 
went into the Exchequer, where I saw on the Bench Chief 
Baron Thomson, Graham, Kichards, and Wood. The Court 

* The Attorney-General. 


of Exchequer is better accommodated than the others. After 
the Court was open, a man made a great noise, addressing 
himself to the Court, and saying he had come for justice, and 
talking in a most rude, indecent way. The Chief Justice told 
him to be silent, but he paid not the least attention. The 
officer was then told to remove him, and the order was repeated, 
I daresay ten times. The officer seemed very irresolute. 

The man did everything but strike the keeper, and con- 
tinued to reflect upon the Court. He was at last got out, but 
was not confined. 

I scarcely could believe I was in an English court of justice 
and in the presence of four Barons of the Exchequer. 

From hence we repaired for a short time to the Chancery 
Court, where the Lord Chancellor 1 was sitting on a seat 
elevated far above the Bar, and apparently, like his namesake 
in Upper Canada, quite unconscious of what the Councillor, Mr. 
Bell, was striving to enforce with all his Yorkshire eloquence. 

8th November. Went into two or three bookstalls. The 
vanity and importance of one old man amused me much. In 
a dark, dirty room in Chancery Lane, he stood surrounded by 
old moth-eaten, dog-eared editions of Greek and Latin classics, 
fathers, and authors of the Middle Ages. 

" Sir," said he, putting up his spectacles, and looking 
round his shop, " this I call bookselling, and I call myself a 
bookseller. Sir, I don't call those men who sell modern pub- 
lications booksellers : I call them haberdashers, pins and needle 
men. They sell books, sir, as they sell tape. They require no 
learning. If you asked them for a Puffendorf, or a Claudian, 
or an Herodotus, they wouldn't know what you were talking 
about/ 1 

9th November. Mr. Ridout had asked me to come to his 
house on Lord Mayor's day to see the procession, so on our 
return I took Pearson with me, and we went there about half- 
past three. 

His house is No. 4 Crescent, New Bridge Street, and is the 
best place to see the procession from, as the Lord Mayor and 

1 Sir John Scott, afterwards Earl of Eldon, born 1751, died 1838. 


all leave the water at Blackfriars Bridge, and getting into 
their carriages pass tip Bridge Street to Guildhall From the 
upstairs window we had a most: distinct view. The crowd wa^ 
immense: carriages without end. The procession itself 
little worth seeing : the mob spoiled all. There was no order, 1 
no previous arrangement. Coal waggons, hackney coaches, \-c.. 
blocked up the street. There were several dragoons, wearing 
helmets and cuirasses taken from the French at Waterloo, and 
some complete suits of armour, one of brass and three of steel. 

l:W/ Xoirmbcr. I attended the Court of King's Bench, and 
heard an argument between Mr. Park and Mr. Garrow. Lord 
Ellenborough has a dry, original manner with him something 

I dined at Lincoln's Inn Hall to-day with C. Murray for 
the first time. There were about 100 dining. The dinner 
i boiled leg of pork on a pewter dish, and a second course 
of roast fowl; beer in white earthen pint mugs. The moment 
thev swallow their dinner, they disperse. I was much amused 
at some of the young men's want of patience. One of them 
having vociferated, "Waiter, send us a mess," very often 
without effect, verv pompously calls out, "W r aiter, send Mr. 
('olden here. Do you hoar, send Mr. Colden here?" "Mr. 
Coldeifs dead, sir!" This stopped the young gentleman for 
some time. 

In the evening went to Covent Garden to hear Miss Stevens 
sing in the "Beggar's Opera," and Mr. Matthews, the cele- 
brated comic performer, in " Love, Law, and Physic. " I was 
much pleased with Miss Stevens and with Sinclair I mean 
his singing, for he is nothing remarkable as an actor. 

Liston, as Lubin Log, the citizen from Tooley Street, is 
the most perfect picture of ignorant vulgarity that can be 

Matthews'* comic song, "The Stage," makes one die almost 
of laughing. 

14;th November. I went to the Common Pleas, and heard 
some lengthy arguments from Serjeants Best, Vaughan, and 

1 London had then no police force as at present. 


Copley. 1 Sir V. Gibbs is a man of penetrating mind and 
clear understanding. 

The following entry gives his first meeting with 
my mother: 

16^ November. Walked up to Gower Street. Left my 
card at Franklin's, and called at Mr. Merry's. Mrs. Merry 
was very good and very kind, and there was an exceedingly 
fine, pretty little girl a Miss Walker there; very pleasing 
and engaging in her manner and appearance. 

19th November (Sunday). Henry Boulton, C. K. Murray, 
and I went to church at Whitehall Chapel. We were stopped 
by the sentry at the door on account of our coloured neck- 
cloths, and went home and changed them. When in church, 
we found no place open to receive us, and, after looking about 
for some time, walked up to the sexton, who was standing 
behind the pulpit, and told him we wanted a seat. He 
whispered, "The seats are my living, gentlemen !" a hint 
which could not easily be mistaken. I gave him a shilling, 
and we were shown into a pew. In this chapel are hung up 
around the walls the trophies of modern victories, French 
flags and French eagles : the latter are gilt or, perhaps, gold, 
about five inches in height, perched on black staves of about 
six feet long. Several of the flags were much torn and 
blown to pieces with powder, &c. They were the fruit of 
our victorious arms at Saragossa, Madrid, Salamanca, Badajoz, 
Vittoria, Gaudaloupe, Martinique, &c. 2 

Here, too, on the west side . . . 

Here follows the description of the Colours taken 
on the Canadian frontier in the war with America of 
1812-14, already given in Chapter II. : 

%5th November. According to arrangement with Mr. Samuel 
Foster, I walked down to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street, and 

1 Afterwards Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst. 

2 All these were in 1835 removed to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. The 
Eagles are of metal (probably gun-metal), gilt." 


took the Sevenoaks coach to Southern!. I remained at Mr. 
r's until Monday, and was treated with the utmost 
kindness by the whole family. 

Mrs. Foster I looked at with astonishment. I could hardly 
believe her the mother of twenty children, fourteen now living. 
She looks young, rosy, and active. They had at home Samuel 
(the Attorney), Captain Tom Foster of the Navy, Lieutenant 
Ilenrv Foster of the Horse Artillery, and Kdward in the mer- 
cantile line. Two young ladies, Caroline and Mary, and the 
youngest chikl, Arabella, about eight. 

Henry was wounded at Waterloo with a grape-shot in the 
foot. I saw the shot: it remained nine days buried in his heel. 

. . . Thev seem a most happy family. 

Z~th November. In the evening I walked out to see the 
illuminations for the Peace, signed on November 20, LSI. "3. 

. . . The olive branches, laurel lea-. were beauti- 

fully represented by the different coloured lamps. The crowd 
of spectators was very great. It was to me a novel and 
striking sight. 

5th December. Went to-day to Westminster Hall. 

In an action for trespass I was shocked to see the gross 
prevarication of three successive iritneneB. It exceeded any 
similar exhibition I have seen in Canada, where we have rascals 
enough, and sad ones. 

I attribute it, in great measure, to the manner in which 
causes are tried and witne^es examined here. The style is to 
browbeat and insult, and uniformly to question the witnesses' 
wracity, without respect to his feelings. 

Garrow's manner of examining a witness serves to confound 
a rascal, and often, I fear, to perplex an honest man. I wonder 
the abuse is tolerated by a grave Chief Justice on the Bench to 
the extent it goes. 

The first witness having delivered his evidence, Mr. Garrow 
rose to cross-examine him. 

" Well, sir, you say, when this disturbance began, you were 
in the room in plaintiff's house, writing. I suppose you were 
doing business for him. You're a lawyer, I take it, from your 
eloquence ? " 


Witness. " Sir, I'm an Englishman, and every Englishman 
is supposed to understand the law of his country. . . ." (A 
loud laugh, rather against the Attorney-General.) He was 
going on 

Lord Ettenborough. " Ah ! stop there. YouVe said very 
well. You'd better not spoil it by saying more." 

Mr. Garrow. " Pray, sir, may I ask you what employment ? " 

Witness. " Sir, I'm a tailor." 

Mr. Garrow. " A tailor ! Ah ! So, then, when you told us 
you were an Englishman, we are to take it with some allow- 
ance. You mean you are as much of an Englishman as a 
tailor can be supposed to be. We know what proportion that 
is. ... My valuable tailor, do give us a yard or two of truth. 
Don't give us so much cabbage," &c., and a deal of such un- 
becoming trash. 

One witness, describing his position at the time of the fray, 
said, " He sat with his back facing the door." 

My good landlady got to-day some of Buonaparte's hair, 
which she showed me. It came enclosed in a letter to Mr. 
Finlayson from the surgeon who accompanied Buonaparte to 
St. Helena, by the Redpole, just arrived from thence. I am to 
have some, though there is but little ; and considering the un- 
doubted fact of its being really the great little man's, it is 
quite a curiosity. 

12th December. Spent the evening in Somerset Place at 
Mrs. Hesse's. There was a large party, from twenty to thirty 
ladies, mostly old dames. A loo table was formed, of which 
party I made one, and had the pleasure of losing about 15s. 
The itch for gambling making money at cards which is very 
observable at these parties, surprised me. Really they seem to 
think amusement by no means the object, and are as sharp 
as cats. 

1.6th .December. Went to Woolwich to pay a visit to 
Colonel Pilkington, 1 commanding the Engineers there, who 
received me very cordially. 

1 Colonel Pilkiugton, R.E., who had served in Canada during- the war 
of 1812-15. 


The evening w:is pas^-d very pie :is?mtly, and the Colonel 
and I sit up till one, talking of Canadian people and Canadian 
concerns lie was in Canada in 179-'}, and really looks wonder- 
11 v voting for a man who talks of Niagara and York before 
they knew what a house was. 

Henry John Boulton, then at Oxford, who was 
to drive a friend's tandem back to Oxford from 
London, took him with him, and they set off at 

1) A.M. 

ISM Ih-cemhcr. Oxford is a delightful place taken alto- 
gether. The High Street affords several interesting views of 
Colleges venerable from age and captivating from the associa- 
tion of ideas. Everything you ves additional interest 

from the impression constantly on your mind that you are now 
in that quiet seat of learning and surrounded by those walls 
which for centuries have sent forth men most eminent in every 
important walk of life. . . . 

\Ve drove in a gig to Woodstock ; I was delighted with 
Blenheim. As we could not be admitted to the house till 
i hrt v, we walked over the park till that hour came. It is eleven 
miles round. The lake abounds with waterfowl, and the park 
is alive with deer. We suddenly encountered the old Duke 
himself (now seventy-seven years old), whom this fine day had 
tempted to try the sports of the field. He was in a little 
carriage, like a child's coach, drawn by a donkey, and was 
attended by a number of servants. AVhen the dogs pointed, 
the gun was put into his hand, and he pointed it, but the game 
always got out of reach before he made up his mind to fire. 
The gamekeeper was very civil, and unlocked a gate for us. 

From Oxford he returned by coach to London, 
passing through Slough 

Where the first person I met was Donald Macdonell. He 
had just got out of the Bath coach, and was on his way from 
Hungerford to Windsor. What, I wonder, are the chances 
that in a kingdom of about twelve million population, with 
crowds of coaches constantly traversing the same road, two 


individuals who had gone to school together about 4000 miles 
off should meet at a little village where they were neither to 
stop more than a few minutes. 

He has a commission in the 99th Regiment. On my return, 
found a most friendly letter from General Sheaffe, and a kind 
note from Colonel Pilkington asking me to spend Christmas 
with them. 

Christmas Day. Went to Church at the Foundling, and 
afterwards to Woolwich (to Colonel Pilkington). 

9,8th December. Dined with Hullock, and found a large 
party. One of them asked me if we drove reindeer in our 
sledges in Canada ! 

5th January 1816. Dined at the Merry s\ and accompanied 
them to Mrs. Hincks"*, a relation of the Robinsons, 1 who 
received me very cordially. There was a large party. I first 
saw here a specimen of the present English fashionable parties. 

The gentlemen drop in, ad libitum., with their hat in their 
hand, or under their arm, as if they should say, " I am all ready 
to go off if I don't like you," and their behaviour speaks this 
exactly. They saunter, snuff, and stare about as if they were 
all strangers to one another, look at the ladies' dresses, and 
when they have satisfied their curiosity, make a bow and go out 
again. The tone seems to be a striking and laboured affectation 
of indifference to everything. We came home about twelve. 

Sir Frederick Robinson had now arrived in 
England from Canada, having been brought over 
in connection with the court-martial ordered upon 
Sir George Prevost, which in the end, owing to the 
latter's death, never took place. 

We give below two letters he wrote after his 
arrival in England to my father : 


th January 1816. 

DEAR ROBINSON, . . . I am most exceedingly happy to have 
found you out, and hope to have the pleasure of introducing 

1 Sir Frederick Robinson's family. 



ou to some more Robinsons ere we quit this country. Mv 
mother and sisters arc- anxious to see you. The former, though 
in her eighty-ninth year, is in high health and spirits, and the 
latter are now pretty well. It gives me much pleasure to find 
you deri\ tion from my friend Merry's attention. . . . 

. . . Do not mention my address to any one, as I am living 
this retired place to be out of the way of every one and 
everything relating to the court-martial until the time of trial. 
Believe me, very truly yours, 

F. P. 

J. B. ROHINSOV, Ks. i.,;}() Craven Street. Strand. 

TiioKxiu-iiY, Ill/A Jmiiiimi 

MY DKAH Roiiixsox, Your father was as intimate in my 
ither's house as I was, and my mother ami sish-rs not only 

)llect him with pleasure, but would he mo>t happy to renew 
the acquaintance, and cement the relationship in the son, but it 
will not fall to my lot to introduce you to them, as I have 
obtained permission to return to Fpper Canada as soon as I 
please, in consequence of the death of Sir George Prevost. I 
shall avail myself of it, and go by the very first opportunity 
that offers, whenever that may be. 

I think the Governor has done a wise thing in introducing 
Strachan into the Executive Council. I consider him both 
zealous, and capable of all that may be required of him. My 
idea is that, if it is the intention of Ministers to preserve Upper 
Canada, they must make a military post of York, and, in that 

. the seat of Government need not be removed. The fact 
is. more money has been thrown away upon useless fortifications 
than would have served to have made the place impregnable 
had the works been properly situated. As it is, they might as 
well be at Albany. Faithfully yours, 

F. P. Romxsox. 

Sir Frederick's mother (Susannah Philipse), born 
in 1727, married Colonel Beverley Robinson, 1747. 
and died at Thornbury, near Bath, in 1822, in her 
ninety-sixth year. 


It seems to bring the colonial days of Virginia 
closer to our own times that, while she might well 
have been acquainted with some who had known 
Christopher Robinson, who died in 1693 and was the 
first of the family to emigrate to Virginia, the widow 
of her grandson, 1 who was sixteen years old at 
Susannah Robinson's death, is still (1903) living at 
Frenchay, not far from Thornbury, in her ninety- 
seventh year. 

One can hardly realise that it is possible that one 
now living could have known another who was fifty- 
seven years old when (in 1784) the United Empire 
Loyalists settled in Upper Canada. 

The question of the removal of the seat of 
Government of Upper Canada from York (Toronto) 
to Kingston, alluded to above in Sir Frederick's last 
letter, was about this time exciting much interest in 
Canada. Dr. Strachan, who was now a member of 
the Executive Council, wrote strongly to my father, 
begging him to do what he could to prevent the step 
being carried out, and the latter subsequently em- 
bodied his own views and those of Dr. Strachan in a 
memorandum addressed to Lord Bathurst, Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, from which we give the 
following extracts : 

~\ 5th February 1816. 

... It is urged that York is, in its situation, incapable 
of defence, while Kingston is naturally strong, and has been 
besides well fortified, and, being our principal naval and 

1 Colonel \V. H. Robinson, 72nd Highlanders. Several of this family 
attained a great age. Mrs. Beverley Robinson's sister Mary (Mrs. Roger 
Morris) died in her ninety-sixth year ; Sir Frederick Robinson in his 
eighty-ninth ; and his daughter, Maria (Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton,, whom 
I knew well), in her ninetieth (in 1884). She remembered her grand- 
mother, Mrs. Beverley Robinson, perfectly. 



military post, will be best protected of any place in Canada 
during a \vur. 

liven looking closely at this ground there is, I submit, my 
nl, room for much doubt. While we retain the superiority 
on Lake Ontario, no town in Canada is so perfectly seci:r 
York, because no hostile army can reach it by land without 
t forcing our frontier at Kingston, Niagara, or Sandwich, 
d marching in either case through a great extent of populous 
untry; and hence York, in any event during a great part of 
year, while the navigation is obstructed by the ice, is 
removed from all danger. In neither case has it anything 
to Apprehend, but from a regular, OfgAlliaed army. 

Kingston, on the other hand, enjoys no such security, but 
s liable to the invasion of an overwhelming force. 

The possession by us of Lake Ontario, which secures York, 
forms no obstacle to such an invasion, because the Americans 
could cross in boats over the river St. Lawrence, and the 
\\ inter, which puts the former out of their reach, gives them 
an easier entrance into the latter. 

Besides, York, in the opinion of many military men, is very 
capable of defence, and its weakness is said to be owing to the 
injudicious position of the works constructed, not to its natural 
incapacity of being defended. 

Moreover as, if we are superior on the Lake, York is 
entirely secure, so if we are worsted there, York must be 
kept, because all supplies for the Niagara frontier, and the 
country north and west of it, must pass through it. So it 
must stand or fall with the province or, at least, with far 
the more valuable and extensive part of it. 

If it be determined that York is neither sufficiently secure, 
nor to be made so, and that the seat of Government must on 
that account be changed, ought it not to be removed to some 
place where, while it preserved the advantage of a central 
situation, it would be out of the line of all military o; 
tions, 1 and unquestionably secure while the province was ours 
for example, on the shore of Lake S.mcoe, or on some point 

1 The Dominion seat of Government has since been moved to such a 
position viz., Ottawa. 


of the backwater communication, where no army could reach 
it that had not overcome all the obstacles the frontier would 
present, and where no army would think of going until every 
military object was achieved. 

I beg to assure your Lordship that nothing but a strong 
impression, erroneous though it may be, that on grounds of 
public expediency the measure is imprudent, would have 
tempted me to intrude upon your Lordship's time and 

About this time Dr. Strachan evidently began 
to lean to the idea that it might be to my father's 
advantage and interest to remain in England, and 
push his career there. 

On the 29th February 1816 he wrote to him from 
Canada as follows : 

... I am pleased to find that your reception is so good 
from the Crown lawyers. It does them honour. Unless you 
have set your heart upon spending your days in this country, 
I rather think that prospects might be made to open upon 
you in London by the time you can profit by them, but I must 
leave you to yourself in this matter. Your best friend, 


And on the 7th May 1816 he addressed him the 
following interesting letter : 

... If you see your way clearly, you must try your fortune 
at the English Bar. You must remember that I mentioned 
the probability of your becoming attached to England. From 
your knowledge of men and manners, and the part you have 
been forced to perform, and likewise your education, your 
acquirements are greater and more practically useful than 
those of some of the most eminent barristers. They have 
made greater progress in the study of mere law; but that 
knowledge has not been enlivened by its application to actual 



If you attach those friends to you whom you have made, 
of which I h;ive very little douht, it will be easy for them to 
ring you out, and the publication of the State trials : 
th the Solicitor-General*! rrrixion of them, if he will take 
e trouble, mav prove of much advantage to you. 

This is a point on which you must deliberate with care, as 
is the most important of your life. If you resolve to remain, 
u must a! tend to economy anil avoid all encumbrances. If 
it be objected that your chance is precarious, I answer, "Not 
so much .s.) as the chance of anv Englishman of your 
''You have been better introduced already than a Peer's son 
could expect. You have talents: you have industry. The 
first few briefs obtained, vour fortune is made. As to your 
being happier here, I question it. \Ye have all the caballings 

and heart-burningi of the largest Government!, and from our 

limited society, they poison social intercourse. Not so at home. 
Your circle is large, and it is easv to avoid those whom you do 
not wish to meet. You say, -Had Providence ca>t vour lot 
in England;" 1 I say, your chance in that case would not have 
been half so good. The great difficulty of young men, natives 
of England, of the first talents, is to get acquainted. This 
difficulty you have surmounted. 

A tempting offer will be made you, or it will be attempted 
vi/., to place Mr. Boulton on the Bench and make you 
Attorney-General. Should this be effected, prudence will bid 
you accept, ambition will hesitate. 

Of your attachment to your friends and relations here, I 
entertain the most favourable opinion ; but we must separate 
in our progress through life, and we must separate at the last. 

I shall be pleased with what you decide; but I wish you to 
adopt the old plan. Set down the pros and cons on paper, 
and be governed neither by prejudice nor feeling, but by the 
strongest rational probabilities. 

(iod bless your exertions, and whatever may befall you, so 
long as you preserve your integrity, you will always find the 
same sincere friend in JOHX STU.U-IIA\. 

When, a few months later, Dr. Strachan became 


aware of my father's approaching marriage, he wrote 
to him as follows, and no doubt in his heart rather 
regretted his decision not to remain in England : 

YORK, 30th September 1816. 

... I can now solve the great change of sentiment which 
appeared in your letter, your eloquent description of the diffi- 
culties you would have had to surmount in coming to the Bar 
in England, with the great sacrifices you must make, &c., like- 
wise your warm eulogium on the happiness you might enjoy in 
this country. 

You will see by my last that I was not convinced, but I 
relinquished the argument. 

To return to my father's Journal : 


'12th January 1816. Accompanied Mr. Acheson to-day to 
the Canada Club at the Freemasons 1 Tavern, and had a seat on 
the President's right Mr. Auldjo. There were about thirty 
present Vice-President Mr. John Forsyth, Mr. Robert Dick- 
son, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Logan, Dr. M'Kinnon, Mr. 
Oviatt, Mr. Maitland, Mr. John Blackwood, Uniacke's brother- 
in-law from Halifax, Mr. Angus Shaw, and several others 
whom I did not know. Canadian affairs were much the subject 
of conversation, and Canadian boat songs and Indian speeches 
from Shaw and Dickson formed an agreeable part of the 

Dickson and I were conversing on the subject of the defence 
of Mackinac last war, when he asked me if I knew Captain 
Robinson who was up there when the Americans blockaded it, 
and when I told him he was my brother, he entertained me 
with the most unreserved encomiums of him. 1 

1 The brother alluded to was Captain Peter Robinson, who has before 
been mentioned as having- commanded a volunteer rifle company at the 
capture of Detroit in 1812. At Michilimackinac (or Cf Mackinac," as it 
\vas often called), an important post on the Straits between Lakes Huron 
and Michigan, which the Americans, who had lost it in 1812, made 
srvrrul vain efforts to retake in 1814, he appears to have been active in 
encouraging the defence. He made his way out of Mackiuac, through 
the American blockading fleet, in August 1814. All efforts to reduce the 
post failed. 


30th Jtiniiary.To-d&y, by virtue of my guinea ticket, I 
dined at the great Coven t Garden Theatrical Fund dinner at 
the Freemasons' Tavern, Great (^ueen Street. Its object wa* 
to form a provision for the support of decayed actors, their 
willows, and children. 

The first actors of Covent Garden Theatre acted as stewards, 
anil having dined early in the day, occupied themselves in 
walking up and down with their rods, attending to the party, 
looking after the waiters, and keeping everything in order. 
They were Young, Liston, Charles Kenihle, Matthews. Fawcett. 
Farley, Con way, Taylor, Abbot, Pope, Emery, and several 
others. Matthews and Finery sang their inimitable comic 

The Duke of York presided. At one end of the same table 
the Duke of Kent, at the other the Duke of Sussex. On the 
jsidents left was the Lord Mayor, Lord Yarmouth, Lord C. 
jymour, and some distinguished Members of Parliament. On 
his right, Lord Alvanley, MacMahon, private secretary to the 
Prince Regent, Lord Frskine, a son of PercivaPs, Fitzroy Stan- 
hope, and several others whose names I did not hear. Mr. 
Brammel, the famous blood, who said on one occasion, " Damme, 
Til cut the Prince, and bring old George into fashion again," 
wa- also there a finicking-looking buck enough. 

It was a singular gratification to me to see Lord Erskine. 

I was much pleased with the personal appearance of the 
three dukes. In fact they were, beyond all question, the three 
men of most noble appearance at the table. 

The Duke of Sussex has a countenance and manner very 
prepossessing, full of benignity, and cheerful and lively good 
humour. The Duke of Kent looks and speaks like a soldier ; 
the Duke of York is a fine commanding person, and has more 
regular symmetry of features than his brothers, but no parti- 
cular expression that pleases or strikes. 

The Duke of York made a short speech in a very hesitating 
and confused manner. 

The Duke of Kent's address was well conceived and dexter- 
ously managed, and had really a great effect. I was the more 
pleased because I had always heard the Duke of Sussex spoken 


of as the orator, and that the Duke of Kent was not at all his 
equal. The Duke of Sussex soon followed. He has a prepos- 
sessing face, but his voice is weak. He began very quaintly, 
but failed, in my mind, very much. His language was very 
perplexed and involved. He was much applauded, because 
he said some things well, and a good heart showed itself 

These three of the Royal Family are popular, and it 
cannot be otherwise, when they join so perfectly heart and 
hand with their fellow-subjects in every humane, benevolent, or 
useful institution. 

The total amount collected at this dinner was a little over 

S\st January. Called at Sir Roger Sheaffe's, where I found 
Norton. We had a long talk about Canadian matters. We 
talked over the unfortunate business at York, which he seems 
to like to dwell upon. 

Derenzy came in ; and thus, in Craven Street, London, were 
four persons l met together who had all been in the Battle of 
Queenston, and who little thought at that time of seeing one 
another here. 

Dined at the Merrys 1 with Mr. Robert Lukin and James 
Lukin, Colonel Drinkwater, who wrote the " Siege of Gibraltar," 
and several others. 

9th February. Went to Hyde Park and put on a pair of 
skates. You give 8s. in pledge till you return the skates, and 
Is. per hour for the use of them. 

Wth February. Last night it froze more severely, people 
say here, than has been known for many years. A decanter of 
water and a tumbler of water were frozen solid in my bedroom. 

. . . Not a bad joke of Mr. Justice Grose, who on circuit 
was dozing rather whilst the list of the jury was calling over, 
and John Thomson being called and not answering, the clerk 

1 Derenzy was a captain in the 41st ; Captain Norton commanded the 
Indians, and Sir Roger Sheaffe was in command of the whole British force 
at the Battle of Queenston. The latter also commanded when York 
(Toronto) was taken in 1813. 




peated the name. Some one answered, " He's dead, sir." 
e judge, starting up, says, " There's no end to these excuses ; 
fine him 40s." 

Lord Erskine has a small estate near London, and has for 
me time past been employing several hands in making and 
disposing of brooms from this estate. Last week he was 
ually summoned before a bench of magistrates, and fined 
. for selling brooms without taking out a hawker's and 
lurs licence. He observed to their Lordships that, if the 
w affected him, it certainly must be "a sweeping clause in 
e statute." 

There are ridiculous caricatures of the late Chancellor 
selling his brooms stuck up in the print-shops. 

19th February. By an introduction of Mr. Finlayson, I 
got admission without a Peer's ticket into the House of Lords, 
although it was a night of very interesting debate upon the 
treaties and our connections with our Allies; in fact, upon 
r present political situation. I went at six, and remained 
till nearly one o'clock. 

Lord Liverpool opened the debate with a long, though 
clear, able, and well-arranged speech. 

His manner is pleasing, his voice harmonious, and action 

Lord Grenville (in opposition) followed him in a speech 
of much the same length. 

I think his manner carries more weight than Lord Liver- 
poors. It is more grave, manly, and dignified: less appearance 
of art, and more smooth and uninterrupted. He speaks more 
like one in earnest. 

They were the first specimens of speeches, anything in 
fact like orations, that I have heard. They were such as to 
excite admiration of the talents, knowledge, and eloquence of 
the speakers. 

Lord Holland (nephew of C. J. Fox) supported Lord 
Grenville in a most curious speech of two hours. His action 
was violent in the extreme. He screamed, he holloaed, he 
choked with impetuosity and vehemence, and yet was not in 
fact angry. In short, his speech was an unaccountable medley, 



and though he said many good things, they answered no 
purpose, as neither he nor the House could see precisely to 
what it all tended. 

Lord Harrowby supported Lord Liverpool in a very clear, 
able, and impressive speech. 

6th March. At three I went to the House of Commons. 
The debates were interesting: on the subjects of the Property 
Tax and the Army Estimates. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer makes a poor figure. 
Lord Castlereagh maintains his ground exceedingly well, 
always cool, and never to be irritated by the most vexatious 
attacks. He answers all objections with calmness and temper, 
and with much humour and point. 

I heard also Rose, Brougham, Lord Milton, Goulbourn, 
Wynne, Fitzgerald, Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland ; 
and George Tierney, an original fellow. 

\.4>th April (Sunday). By pressing invitation from Mr. 
Adams (W. Dacres), spent the day with him at his house 
at Sydenham. I took a horse, and after service rode to 
Sydenham. Mr. Adams has a beautiful estate of 150 acres 
under good cultivation, and the grounds about his house are 
laid out with great taste. 

April. After breakfast, I left Mr. Adams, and re- 
turned to town. Henry Boulton and I dined at a restaurateur's 
with St. George, his brother, and Lelievre, 1 and at nine young 
Acheson called for us to take us to the Lord Mayor's 
Easter ball. 

The crowd was insufferable about 4000 people. The 
ladies were very seriously alarmed for their safety on account 
of the pressure of what may be fairly called the mob. The 
Dukes of Kent and Sussex and the Recorder in vain harangued 
the gentlemen to beg them to keep back. With the greatest 
difficulty room was kept for the Duke of Sussex and a lady to 
dance a minuet. 

1 Probably the Quetton St. George and Captain Lelievre whose names 
appear as subscribers to the York Assemblies in 1814 See Appendix 
A., III. Lelievre was a captain in the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles. 




The whole Mansion-I louse was swarming with grotesque 
itv bucks and belles. There was one negro gentleman, several 
mulattos, anil a Turk or Persian. The Eadv Mayoress cut a 
queer figure with her hoops. y No refreshment of any kimi 
provided. Almost choked with heat and thirst, Henry and I 
found our way down into the kite-hen, where we found a civil 
gentleman all over gold lace, who was willing to give us a 
of water for a trifle. 

We left the jamming and squeezing at half-past twelve. 

April I went with William Merry to the Fives Court 
in St. Martin's Lane to see sparring by the crack hands 
of the day. Crib, the champion of England ; .Richmond, 
the black; Belcher, Oliver, Eels, Scroggins, West Country 
Dick, *e. 

It was to me a novel scene, purelv English, and well worth 
witnessing. The neatness and quickness of Belcher are quite 
astonishing. Notwithstanding their gloves, the blows coming 
with such force sometimes stagger them, and, indeed, thev often 
knock each other down; but no serious injury is done. 

The spectators are a strange group of coachmen, butchers, 
innkeepers, and gentlemen, who all take a surprising interest 
in what is going forward, and aflect to talk in the genuine 
slang style. 

, Wi April. There was a regular boxing match on Molesey 
Heath, near Hampton Court, on the opposite side of the 
Thames, and I thought it a duty incumbent on me, as a 
stranger, to witness this exhibition, so purely English, which 
displays national manners and peculiarity of feeling in so 
striking a manner. 

So Henry and I took a gig of Ansel, the livery stable keeper. 
We drove through Putney, Richmond', Twickenham, and 
Bushey Park. Imagination cannot picture a more delightful 
drive. The leaves and blossoms were just beginning to expand, 
and everything breathed of spring. 

We passed crowds of citizens on foot, in carts, on horseback, 
in gigs, coaches, &c., all streaming to the grand ;rw/r;;z'o//.s. 
We stopped at Mr. Twining's (at Hampton), an acquaintance 


of Henry's and old friend of his father's. We promised to 
return to dine with him ; crossed the Thames on a crowded 
wherry, and had to wait about an hour or more before the 
fight began. 

It was on a level green. Carts and waggons formed a circle 
of about 150 yards diameter perhaps, in the centre of which 
was the ring. Two shillings was given for a standing place on 
a waggon, which afforded one an excellent view. The mob 
were all driven back so as to form a ring immediately inside 
the circle of carriages, and we looked over their heads. Numbers 
of men with horsewhips kept the multitude in order by frequent 
and very unceremonious cuts over the face, back, and legs, 
which were all suffered patiently and without a murmur or 
symptom of resistance. Many thousands attended, and yet by 
this violent and rough method of keeping order, all confusion 
was prevented, and every one had a good view but Jonathan 
wouldn't brook this. 

The great fight which drew the public together was between 
Carter, a celebrated boxer, and a black, lately from Virginia, 
who had beaten several white men of bruising fame, and 
boasted himself a match for any white in England. He was 
a very stout, powerful fellow, but Carter beat him with very 
little trouble. He took several severe rounds first, however. 

A much tighter combat next took place between Lancaster, 
a known pugilist, and a coal-heaver. They were both men of 
great courage and obstinacy, but the former was at length 

Another fight succeeded, not so well contested, and then 
the matter ended, and the cockneys, carts, gigs, coaches, &c., 
returned to town. 

We walked to Hampton Palace and viewed the gardens and 
grounds, which are beautiful, though too flat. 

After dinner Mr. Twining took me over Garrick's grounds, 
which are really exquisitely pretty. The Thames here is a very 
beautiful river. The grounds are diversified by artificial hill 
and dale, and planted with fine trees. They are now large 
trees, like forest trees, and yet Mrs. Garrick says she remembers 
the planting of every one of them except one. She is ninety- 


two, still active and lively, and frequently attends Drury Lane 
Theatre, being much delighted with Ki-uifs acting. 1 

We returned to town by nine, and had a very pic 

9,nd May. This evening at ten the Princess Charlotte of 
Wales was married to the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. About two, 
or perhaps earlier in the day, Pall Mull and the Park were 
crowded with men and women hoping to catch a glimpse of one 
or both of the Royal parties. When I returned home at about 
eleven, there was still an immense crowd in Pall Mall before 
Carl ton House. A party of Life Guards were on duty. I was 
.standing near a fine young man, mounted on his charger, with 
his beaver and Waterloo medal, when a bit of brick thrown 
with great violence from the crowd struck the side of his head, 
on the chains that pass along the cheek. He showed no 
symptom of resentment, nor even changed his position, though 
the blow might have ruined his eyesight. Their situation on 
these occasions is most mortifying to brave men. 

\Qth May. Dined at the anniversary dinner of the Lite- 
rary Fund for the support of poor authors at the Freemasons'" 
Tavern. About 200 present. The Duke of Kent was 

The Bishop of Cloyne, who is a very queer, squinting old 
gentleman, made a short speech, in which the most striking 
remark was that the object of the society was " to help those 
men of ability who had not the ability to help themselves " 
sufficiently quaint. 

The most original amusement of the evening was the recita- 
tion by William Thomas Fitzgerald of his twentieth Annual 
Ode. This is the poet whose style is parodied in the " Rejected 
Addresses." The ode had some merit, and was received in a 
very flattering manner. I had some conversation with him 
before dinner. 

1 Mrs. Garrick, widow of Garrick, the celebrated actor, died iu 1822, 
aged ninety-eight. 


Within the next few days my father visited 
Windsor and Eton, where he " saw a great number 
of fine little fellows busily occupied with cricket." 

May. Went to the Old Bailey, and, by the Solicitor- 
Generars introduction, got a place next Mr. Shelton, the Clerk 
of Arraigns. The judges, Bailey and Park, were there. Soon 
after I received a note from Sir James Shaw, on the Bench, 
requesting my company to dinner at five with the judges and 
magistrates. We had an excellent dinner in the Sessions 
House. The party was exceedingly pleasant and convivial, and 
without restraint or reserve. 

Mr. J. Park mentioned an Irish bishop who married at 
sixty, and lived to see his eldest son a bishop. 

May. This evening the celebrated Mrs. Siddons, who 
for forty years has reigned undisputed Queen of Tragedy, acted 
Queen Catherine in " Henry VIII." for the benefit of her brother, 
Charles Kemble. I had often regretted it as a loss I was 
doomed to that I should never hear Mrs. Siddons, who several 
years ago took a formal leave of the stage. 

Mr. W. Dacres Adams was so kind as to consider me in his 
arrangements for the evening. 

I went with Adams, Colonel Adams his brother, three or 
four ladies, and Campbell, author of " The Pleasures of Hope " 
and " Gertrude of Wyoming," a particular friend of the 
Adams's. I was introduced to him, and we had a great deal 
of conversation during the evening. 

There is something uneasy and fidgetty in his manner that 
you would not expect in the author of " Erin-go-Bragh." He 
has a fine eye, and his conversation is entertaining. He appears 
young yet, about thirty-five perhaps. 

In the box next us was Lord Lynedoch, also Mr. Matthews, 
author of " Pursuits of Literature," and in another Rogers, the 
author of " Pleasures of Memory." The house was crowded in 
every part. 

I was pleased with Mrs. Siddons, but found more to admire 
in Kemble's Wolsey ; some passages were almost overpowering. 


The audience would not for a long time suffer the tragedy 
to proceed beyond the end of the fourth act, as if, after Mrs. 
Siddous in that last affecting scene, nothing would be tolerated. 

The other piece was "The Prize," in which Liston and 
Matthews were sufficiently ridiculous. 

On June 10th, Colonel Pilkington kindly sent up 
his servant and horses to London for him, and he 
rode down to Woolwich again and spent a day or 
two there. 

On my way over Blackheath, I passed the Blackheath 
pedestrian Katon walking one of his hourly miles part of his 
1100 to be performed in 1100 hours one mile each hour. 
Monstrous absurdity ! 

Between this and the end of July, he visited 
Norwich to see my mother's relations there, the 
Booths ; and also paid two or three visits to Hastings, 
where my mother, with the Merrys, was then stay- 
ing, visiting Bexhill, Pevensey, &c.; and on the 1st 
August returned to town preparatory to setting out 
upon a six weeks' tour on the Continent. 

2/w/ August. By invitation of Mr. Campbell, I dined with 
him at his house at Sydenham, with Mr. Adams and Mr. 
Crauford. Mrs. Campbell is a fine-looking woman. They 
have one son, Thomas, apparently a smart ingenious lad ; they 
lost another child. Mr. Campbell was born in 1778; his 
father lived to a great age, upwards of ninety. We spent a very 
pleasant evening. I slept at Adams's and breakfasted there. 

On August 8, 1816, he set off by coach from 
London for Harwich. 

The harbour of Harwich, formed by the mainland on which 
the town lies, and the peninsula on which Landguard Fort 


stands, very much resembles the Bay of York 1 in Upper Canada, 
the fort and a round tower being placed so as exactly to remind 
me of the blockhouses on Gibraltar Point. After dining I took 
a packet to Ipswich and went to the " White Hart " Inn. 

6th August. Took a stroll through Ipswich. 

I recollected having brought over with me a letter from 
Miss Russell to a Miss Forth of Ipswich, so, all in my travelling 
habit as I was, I knocked at Miss Forth's door in the church- 
yard of St. Mary's Tower. We had a long chat about Canada 
and Mr. and Mrs. Russell. Mr. Russell's father was clerk of 
the Cheque in Harwich, and died there. 

T,ue v_/neque n narwicn, anu. uieu uiere. 

In the evening he returned, by post chaise, 


Now Toronto. 





Helvietsluys Rotterdam The Hague Canal travelling Leyden Haar- 
lem Amsterdam Broek (the model village) Utrecht Antwerp 
Brussels Waterloo Paris Louis XVIII. The Mat de Cor:, 
Count <le Chains Talma Chamber of I )eputies St. Germain View 
from t)u> terrace --French politeness A London mob Mr. Adams - 
The Reverend George Boulton Coventry Kenilworth, &c. Open- 
ing of Parliament Matlock Yorkshire scenery Windennero and 
the English Lakes Falls of the Clyde Glasgow Captain Jarvie 
Aberdeen Mr. Strarlian -Mr. Forsyth Jeffrey Captain Barclay 
Mr. (Sir Walter) Scott and Abbotsford Kelso Alnwick. 

>N August 7, 1816, my father embarked at Harwich 
for Helvietsluys, and travelled thence through Hol- 
land, partly by canal, to Antwerp, Brussels, and Paris, 
returning to London on 15th September. 

In April and May 1817 he visited the English 
Lakes and Scotland ; in June was married in Lon- 
don ; and in August 1817 he and my mother sailed 
for Canada. 

In the early part of last century but few travelled 
abroad, either from England or Canada, compared 
with the numbers who now yearly do so ; and the 
period of his travels was rather an exceptional one. 
Louis XVIII. had been recently restored (after 
Waterloo) to the French throne ; and the spoils of 
Napoleon's wars were just being returned from Paris 
to their former owners in Holland and elsewhere. 
Everything he saw extremely interested him. British 
troops still occupied parts of France ; at Valenciennes 
he met with Major Holcroft, who had been with him 



in the campaign of 1812 in Canada, and other old 
friends were with the army of occupation. 

While, therefore, I have omitted much from his 
Journal which is merely descriptive of cities, towns, 
churches, and picture galleries, now well known, 
lying as they do in the beaten track of everyday 
travel, I give below what I think may still be of 

He was charmed with the scenery of the English 
Lakes, and delighted with his trip to Scotland, during 
which he paid a visit to Sir Walter (then Mr.) Scott 
at Abbotsford. 

I may add, too, that 1 have curtailed these ex- 
tracts the less because travelling, especially at the 
age my father then was, is a part of education, 
opening the mind and enlarging the ideas. 

Nothing can convey so well as these extracts 
themselves what he saw and how it struck him, or 
indicate better his observing powers. 

I now continue from his Journal : 

1th August 1816. An English gentleman, 1 6 feet high, 
with brown surtout, drab breeches, and long gaiters, set off 
with me from Helvietsluys. 

" I see, sir, from your trunk," he said, " that you are from 
the other side of the Atlantic. Do you happen to know a 
gentleman there, who is the most particular friend I have in 
the world Uniacke ? " 

" Perfectly well ; we travelled once together from Quebec 
to York." 

This introduced us to each other, and as a travelling com- 
panion he is very agreeable and very well informed. 

9th August. At half-past twelve we embarked (from Rot- 
terdam) for Delft on our way to the Hague, on board a 

1 Mr. Latham, who travelled with him afterwards as far as Brussels. 



kshuvt or canal boat. These are the most convenient 
things, and the whole system is admirable. 

For instance, from one city to another, these trekshuyts 

il most punctually at their stated times, every half-hour, or 
e\ery two hours, c. Each city has its different gates tor the 
different departures, as the Untrue Gate, the Amsterdam Gate, 
the Utrecht Gate. At the inn a porter attends, whose charge 

known ; he takes your linkage to the gate you set out from. 

d you follow him. AVithout any bustle or confusion your 

ggage is put on board, and at the stated minute you 

t off. 
The trekshtivt is a long narrow boat. The after cabin is 

ceedingly comfortable. It holds about eight passeng 
hied and furnished with a velvet cushion for each passenger, 
and a little table in the midst, on which you may write. There 
are small windows which open, and give you the advantage of 
air and prospect. The other larger cabin is very clean, but 
provided only with long benches. It holds about fortv pas- 
:-s, who pay one half the price of the others. The top of 
the boat, that is, the roof of the cabin, is neat and clean, con- 
sisting of broken shells, cemented with pitch. In fine weather 
this is the most pleasant berth. One miserable horse, harne.s>ed 
with ropes and old straps, carries along all this equipment pre- 
cisely at three and a half miles per hour, not varying a minute. 
The method of putting letters into the canal boats is an 
ingenious one. A little boy or girl waits at some bridge under 
which the boat passes, and has, in his or her hand, a hollow 
stick with a plug. He puts his stivers for postage into the 
hollow piece, plugs it up, and drops it with the letter attached 
to it into the boat. The boatman takes his money and the 
letter, and throws the stick ashore to the boy, who is running 
along the bank. Parcels are handed out and taken on, tolls 
paid, \c., without impeding the progress of the trekshtivt. 

Arrived at the Hague at five, and went to the "Two Cities,"" 
a very excellent inn. Here, at the Hague, we saw an admir- 
able collection of French paintings the restored spoils of the 
Louvre. They are not yet all unpacked, and were lying mixed 
in the rooms. The famous chef-d'oeuvre of Paul Potter the 


cattle piece is perfect nature. No words can do justice 
to it. 

By a little address, we persuaded the old man who was 
arranging them to venture into a room he was afraid to show, 
and containing a most precious collection of the best. Here 
we saw numbers of the most famous paintings of Rubens, 
Vandyke, and the best Dutch and Flemish artists. How 
delighted I was for two hours ! Several candle-light scenes 
were wonderfully fine. 

10th August. At half-past twelve we embarked in a trek- 
shuyt for Leyden (9 miles). 

We were told by Messrs. Campbell and Boyce that the 
banks of the canal from Delft to the Hague were the most 
beautiful part of Holland; but we found, as everybody must 
find, that they bear no comparison with that from the Hague 
to Leyden. Here the constant succession of neat and indeed 
beautiful villas for many miles forms a prospect that one regrets 
seeing but to leave. 

The broad street of Leyden, called the Altenbourg, is justly 
celebrated as one of the finest things of the kind to be seen in 
Europe. As a street, I have seen nothing that can compare 
with it except the High Street at Oxford. It is perhaps double 
the width of that at Oxford, and three or four times its length, 
resembling it in its curvature, and thus presenting you with a 
number of striking views. . . . 

It is astonishing how they preserve everything in Holland 
by their extreme cleanliness and care. The Dutch have a great 
passion for dating everything, their houses, boats, bridges, 
waggons, gates, &c. All the cushions in the Town Hall, for 
the magistrates to sit on, were dated one in 1732. The first 
trekshuyt we entered bore the date 1745, and on inquiry we 
found the boat to be really so old. Most of the houses, 
observed, were dated 1600 to 1750. 

In the library of the University there was an exquisitel; 
beautiful manuscript copy of Virgil of the fourteenth century, 
illuminated. What delighted me most were two manuscript 
volumes of Hugo Grotius's " Commentaries on the New Testa- 
ment," in his own hand. The librarian told me that the 


niversity gave 200 guelders for each volume, i.e. about 
r the two, which I would willingly pay for them, and take 
eir bargain. 

We were admitted by great good fortune to see a most 
pital collection of Flemish paintings belonging to a private 
gentleman. They were the property of a Catholic priest, Mr. 
Ocko, who died very recently. A portrait of the wife of Claude 
raine by Morcelses was more beautiful and natural to my 
e than anything I ever beheld. She seemed to start into life 
you looked at her. 

There were some small pieces of Gerard Dow which seemed 
yond the possibility of the art. I recollect one representing 
cottage family at dinner, which I could have looked at for 
urs. . . . 

From Leyden he went by curricle, with Mr. 
Latham, to Haarlem, where they stopped at the 
*' Lion d'Or," and visited the cathedral. 

. . . There is a striking difference between the appearance 
of these immense monuments (the cathedrals) of other days in 
England and here, and the manner in which they are at present 
kept and made use of. 1 

In England one could imagine that they were edifices 
erected in distant ages for a different race of men. We seem 
to use them something like the fox, looking out of the ruined 
hall as described by Ossian, not because they are the things we 
KV/M/, but because we found them ready made to our hand. 

Now in Holland everything is kept in repair and bound- 
less as the space is within their vast churches (formerly 
cathedrals) there is no appearance of ruin. 

Of course, all this renders it less venerable to the sight and 
interesting to the mind, but their churches seem to correspond 
more to their present wants and agree perfectly with their 
straight-haired Domini and the demure, plainly dressed, quiet 
comfortable - looking congregations. Throughout Holland I 
recollect no symptom of a people who had gone further in 

1 It must be remembered that this alludes to the England of 1816. 


elegance and magnificence than seemed to suit the present 
generation. Nothing in their country seems ever to have been 
otherwise than it is, except from the gradual effect of time. 
Nothing suffering from neglect or disuse. 

At Amsterdam, to which he went by trekshuyt 
from Haarlem, he was much struck by a small paint- 
ing in the museum of the Stadt-house a " school by 
candle-light " by Gerard Dow. 

How strikingly correct are the shades of light . . . the 
very facsimile of a burning taper has been produced by the 

The carved wood in the New Church (at Amsterdam) is 
really exquisite, the most superb thing of the sort I have seen, 
except perhaps the gallery of the Middle Temple Hall, and in 
St. George's Chapel at Windsor. . . . 

From Amsterdam he visited the village of Broek, 
which was then, and I believe still is, 1 a curiosity 
among the villages of the world on account of its 
extreme neatness, deemed even in Holland to be 
carried to the extent of absurdity. 

The streets are divided by little rivulets paved in mosaic 
work with variegated shells. A dog or cat is never seen to 
trespass upon them. Carriages are not permitted to enter the 
village. The houses are about 300 in number. The shutters 
of the front windows are generally closed, and the principal 
entrance is never opened but on the marriage or death of one 
of the family. The inhabitants scarcely ever admit a stranger 
within their doors. 

In our walk through we saw no human being but one or 
two who were busy in scrubbing and polishing what appeared 
as clean as it could be. 

The village forms one of those things from which one man 
may go out in raptures, and another may ridicule as an imitation 

1 I saw it in 1874, and it was then much as mv father describes it here. 


of a toy-shop, but all must acknowledge that they hail before 
formed no idea of the reality, and unless they had seen it they 
would never believe that such an appearance could be given to 
a town containing 300 families pursuing the common avocations 
of life. 

It is said that the people of Brock once turned a stranger 
out of their town for snee/ing in the street. How odd that for 
300 years the inhabitants of this town should have kept up an 
appearance which as distinctly marks them from their own 

rtrymen as from the rest of the world. . . . 
Returning to Amsterdam, the trekshuyt was 
again taken to Utrecht. 

AY hat respectable-looking people conduct these boats. Our 
present helmsman has a big wig like a Chief Justice, black 
breeches and stockings, and silver buckles as large as my 

From Amsterdam to Utrecht, the canal is lined with villas, 
so that it all seems a continued pleasure ground. 

The. little summer-houses on the banks with the flower 
gardens and statues, the delightful woods and the variety of 
carriages along the road which borders the canal, the number 
of little tea-parties in the summer-houses, and the general 
appearance of the whole being devoted to peaceful undisturbed 
enjoyment, form a most pleasing impression on the mind of the 
':ig traveller, who, walking on the top of his trekshuyt, 
glides through, receiving and returning the respectful salutations 
invariably offered by the little groups who, strolling through 
the gardens and groves,, or drinking their coffee in the neat 
little casinos, give life and variety to the picture. 

Three or four miles of this evening's journey are worth 
coming from England to see. 

From Utrecht, the diligence was taken through 
Breda to Antwerp. 

He w;is much impressed by many things in 
Antwerp, especially by the Cathedral of St. Jacques, 


with its " Descent from the Cross " by Rubens, and 
" The Marriage Feast " by Vandyke. 

The "Museum" contains many paintings, lately 
returned from the Louvre. Among them is the " Crucifixion " 
by Rubens, thought by many, and among others by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, to be the first in the world for colouring and 

What struck me most in it was the wonderful correctness 
of execution in the spear piercing our Saviour's side. The 
impatient agony of the two thieves, and our Saviour's placid 
countenance are admirably portrayed. 

We went after church (Sunday, 18th August 1816) with 
Madame Solvyns to see a capital private collection of paintings 
belonging to a gentleman in the Place de Mer. At the head 
of the staircase was a small statue of Cupid with this elegant 
little French couplet under it : 

" Qui que tu sois, voici ton maitre, 
II 1'est, le fut, ou le doit etre." 

Before dinner I put in practice my intention of ascending 
the spire of the cathedral, and a tremendous undertaking it 
was. I went to the highest gallery just under the cupola, 620 
steps from the bottom. My old guide stopped short at the 
last landing-place, 120 feet from the top, and indeed the last 
twenty or thirty feet were terrific, for it is all open work old 
gothic arches with every appearance of ruin and decay and held 
together with clamps of iron. The wind seemed as if it would 
blow one through the arches, and the noise was awful. 

He left Antwerp by diligence for Brussels, and, 
on the 20th August, visited the field of Waterloo. 

The little eminence to which Bonaparte several times 
advanced while the attempts were being made to force the 
British line is much nearer the scene of action at the momenl 
than I had imagined. 

The morning was bright and beautiful. The harvest men 
were gathering their crops of rye in that field where little 
more than a year ago had been decided the fate of nations, and 


which now exhibited scarce a mark by which the traveller 
could discover that it had witnessed the desolation of such 
mighty armies. The field of battle, and the woods which 
skirt it, is one of the prettiest scenes I observed in the Nether- 
lands, and would be admired for its natural beauty alone. 


The journey from Brussels to Paris was made 
alone, by cabriolet, his friend Latham having sepa- 
ted from him at Brussels, to go to Spa. The route 
y through Braine - le - Compte, Soignies, Mons, 
V r alenciennes, and Cambray. 


Valenciennes contains now a great body of British troops. 
met Major Ilolcroft in the streets, who could not believe his 
es, and wondered, as well he might, how and why I had 

nd my way there. I inquired for my old schoolfellow, Poole 
ngland, and found I should most likely see him at Cambray. 

Major (then Captain) Holcroft, Royal Artillery, 
above alluded to, had command of the " Car " Brigade 
of Artillery (a volunteer artillery company of farmers' 
sons with their draught horses) at the Battle of Queen- 
ston Heights in 1812. 

Poole England (whom, as he had been detached 
from Cambray to some place nearer the coast, he 
missed seeing) lived to be a General Officer and 
Commandant of the Royal Artillery. He saw active 
service in the expedition to the Weser (1805-6), at 
the Cape of Good Hope, 1806-7, in the Peninsular 
War, 1813 and 1814, and died November 6, 1884, 
aged ninety-six. 

Arriving at Paris on the 24th August 1816, my 
father remained there three weeks, stopping at the 
Hotel de Breteuil in the Rue de Rivoli, where he 
had, he says, " two very convenient little rooms, snugly 
furnished, looking into the Tuileries Gardens." 



After dressing I observed the gardens crowded with gay 
company. In a few minutes Louis XVIII. made his appear- 
ance at an upper window of the palace. I was standing 
immediately opposite, and should certainly have known him 
by his portraits I have seen. Hats were all taken off, and 
I joined in the cry of Vive le Roi, which was not as hearty 
as I expected it would have been, not like John Bull's shouting 
when he is really delighted. He soon hobbled away, showing 
much infirmity in his motions. The Dukes of Berri and of 
Angouleme and the Duchesses afterwards presented themselves 
at the window, and soon retired. 

The world probably contains nothing that equals in 
splendour the area comprehending the Tuileries Gardens and 
Palace, the Louvre, and Palais Royal. 

^It is uncomfortable walking through Paris, foot-passengers 
throng in the middle of the road and coaches drive everywhere. 
It's all sauve qui pent, and you require to be constantly on the 
watch. I saw few elegant carriages, and, excepting the palace 
itself and surrounding objects, there is more real splendour 
in a full levee at Carlton House or the Queen's Palace. ' 

At 2, I walked in the Champs Elysees. The whole place 
is full of booths, stages, and thousands and thousands of well- 
dressed people. 

The most curious sight is the Mat de Cocagne, which 
furnished the wits lately with a very good subject for a cari- 
cature. It is a great pole of forty to fifty feet high, at the top 
of which is a bush, and to the branches are tied silver cups and 
other temptations for adventurers. The pole is greased, and 
the great amusement is to see hundreds, one after the other, 
attempt to gain the top. Often, when they are nearly up, 
they begin to slip, and then it is out of the question to stop, 
and away they go. 

The "caricature" above alluded to is a famous 
one by George Cruikshank, 1815. The gouty and 
infirm king has by great efforts reached the summit 
of the pole, and is about to grasp the crown. He is 



supported from below by Wellington (who props 
him up with his sword point, to his great discomfort), 
and on the shoulders of Austria, Russia, and Prussia. 
His pockets are laden with money-bags and holy 
water, to satisfy the claims of the emigres. His 
position is evidently an unhappy one. Napoleon 
watches him from across the sea, and is saying, " I 
climbed up twice, without any help." 

1 couldn't help thinking when I entered the Champs. 
KlvMvs to-day of Sterne's exclamation, "All the world had 
gone a May-poling. 11 Every face seems determined to be 
pleased. Here, as every where, a great proportion of the 
loungers were military. I saw a partv of young soldiers who 
were dancing hand to hand in a large ring, and singing a 
ational song of which the burden, of course, was f'/rr lc Roi. 
Probably some of these same men only la>t year deserted a 
usurper's standard. One would think to-night that there were 
but the words V'irc lc Uol in the French language. I daresay 
there have been more Vive le Ro'i.s said and sung this day and 
night in Paris than there have been "Clod save the King" 
through the last reign. Poor Louis can't feel much elevated 
by the shouts of this Paris mob. 

Passing near the Louvre in a cabriolet to-day I met the 
Count de Chains. He was quite astonished to see me, and 
seemed greatly pleased to find a person from Canada. He gave 
me a long account of his own private interests, and of the politics 
of the court respecting persons in his situation. He says that 
those who adhered most obstinately to the royal party during the 
Revolution, and like himself abandoned their country until the 
restoration of the monarchy, are named ultra-royalists, and are 
not provided for or employed in the same manner as those 
who, having been servants of Buonaparte, contributed by their 
defection to the king's success; but he savs it is unavoidable. 

The Count de Chalus, here referred to, was one 
of the Royalist emigres to Canada after the French 
Revolution. In Book 285, Record Office, Upper 


Canada, 1793, Major-General the Count de Chalus 
and servants are entered as residing at Niagara, and 
subsequently Colonel le Vicomte de Chalus and 
Madame Vicomtesse, and Major Quetton de St. 
George are entered as having resided at Windham. 

%8th August. I went to the Theatre Francis. The piece 
was Andromache, and the famous Talma was Hector. His 
action is graceful, his voice admirably tragic, manly, and 

From the little opportunity I had of judging of Talma by 
what I saw of his manner and his countenance, and heard of his 
voice I should think he must be a much greater treat to a 
Frenchman than Kemble to an Englishman. 

Later on he saw Talma again in the part of 
Hamlet, as adapted to the French stage, and writes : 

One feels naturally great prejudices at the tragedy of 
Shakespeare being moulded into rhyme and stripped of those 
marks and touches of nature which, if they could be rendered 
into another language, would scarcely be understood. The 
admirable soliloquy is not attempted, and they dispense with 
the players and the grave-diggers, who would be rather 
grotesque in regular hexameters. You would suppose it could 
excite little feeling in the representation, but it was far 

His manner is graceful, manly, and chaste, without cant or 
grimace. The audience were extremely affected. I think, had 
I been a Frenchman, I could have wished for nothing better in 
tragedy. With all the disadvantages of not understanding 
him with ease, I am very sure I was never altogether so 
satisfied with the performance of a tragedy on the English 
stage as I was with this. Ophelia was a wretched stick. 

.. I have now heard Talma, Kemble, and Mrs. Siddons play, 
and seen Vestris dance, rather better fortune than I had 
anticipated, j 

3rd September. Went to the Chamber of Deputies in the 
Palais Bourbon. Below the President's chair is the place for 




the orators, for the members do not, as in the English House 
f Commons, speak in their places ; but, if they have anything 
. they must mount the rostrum, and, after having made 
eir bow to the President, turn their back upon him, and 
address themselves to the Deputies. 

I doubt whether this system is not a wise one, for it gives^ 
ore solemnity and form to the meeting, and precludes those 
conversation pieces which take up so much time in the British 
House of Commons. Besides, I daresay many a man gets up 
in his place and talks a great deal of nonsense who would 
ile about making a formal exhibition and putting himself 
a situation where something like an oration would be ex-, 
pected from him. 

He enjoyed especially his visits to Fontainebleau, 
It. Cloud, Versailles, &c., and the views over the 
country obtainable from the heights near them ; and 
more than all, the prospect from the terrace in front 
of the Palace of St. Germain. 1 

I remained a long time feasting my eyes on its beauty. At 
your feet is a vineyard clothing the natural declivity to the 
banks of the Seine ; behind are the gardens and palace of St. 
(id-main; on your right the heights of Marli, covered with 
lives; the palace and park of Malmaison ; before you, the 
Seine meandering through the whole extent of the prospect; 
upon its banks the towns of Croissy, Le Pic, Ruit, and Nan- 
terre; in the distance Mont Valerien and Montmartre, and the 
venerable spire of St. Denis Cathedral ; on the left, Montmor- 
ency and its delightful vale. While I was looking at this 
charming valley, a storm of rain and mist swept over it. At 
the same time the sun shone bright upon the heights of Marli, 
and as the cloud retired and restored the beauties of the Vale 
of Montmorency, nothing in scenery, though it might be more 
grand, could be more beautiful and pleasing. 

... I was much struck with the graceful, easy manner of 
French men and women of all ranks. You see nowhere any 

1 See also page 130. 


mark of embarrassment or awkwardness, nor is their manner at 
all an impudent one, or an affected imitation of the higher 

It sits as 'easily on them, and seems as much their own, as 
that of the most finished courtier. 

I observed a common, plain-looking countryman in his 
home-spun jacket, straw hat, and long queue, meeting another 
peasant with his wife, and bowing as he approached, with all the 
easy grace imaginable, " Madame, j'ai Thonneur de vous saluer, 
et monsieur," and throws out his hand to " monsieur " with the 
careless air of a man of fashion. 

If an honest English farmer were to attempt this sort of 
thing, he would certainly look ridiculous, not but that his 
hearty shake of the hand and honest bluntness may be quite 
as pleasing. 

. . . One cannot help observing the striking difference 
between the French and English in another way. 

Most of the requests which in English are simply, " Ring 
the bell," or " Knock," or " Shut the gate," have in Paris the 
termination, " S'il vous plait," or the initials S.V.P. 

September. I breakfasted this morning with Mr. 
M'Leay and Mr. Ritchie, secretary to Sir Charles Stewart, the 
English Ambassador, a fine young man, botany mad, and 
all on fire to visit the interior of Africa to gather leaves and 
mosses. . . . 

On going to the diligence office I found the stages to Rouen 
full. While I was inquiring, a gentleman came in to hire a 
carriage to Dieppe, and he readily agreed to join, so I engaged 
a carriage for three, for he had a servant with him, and we had 
to pay 100 francs. . . ./My travelling companion I found very 
pleasant, and as much a Frenchman as English, which proved 
convenient. His name is Beauvais. His sister is mother of 
George Auldjo of Montreal, and he knows many of my Canadian 
acquaintances. Sir Alexander M'Kenzie married his niece.^ 

Sailing from Dieppe on the evening of the 14th 
September, he reached Brighton after a passage of 


twelve hours, on the morning of the 15th September 

London, 21,9^ November. ... I saw lately an inconsider- 
able example of a London mob. After a seditious meeting in 
Spa fields, some hundreds collected at night, and, proceeding to 
St. James 1 Square, broke some of the windows of Lord Castle- 
rea^-lfs house. Then returning they moved up St Martin's 
Lane, broke into some baker and butcher shops, and carried oft* 
the bread and meat ; and sticking some loaves on long poles, 
marched riotously about Leicester Square and up to Seven 
Dials. I was in the midst of them, and greater cowards I 
never saw. They were in continual fear of the military, and 
two dragoons could have put them to flight. The peace 
oilicers succeeded in suppressing them. . . . 

December. I went down to-day with Mr. Adams in 
his carriage to Sydenham and dined with my good friends there, 
who always cri ve me a cordial welcome. 

Our dinner party, besides the many ladies of the family, 
consisted of Sir Herbert Sawyer, the admiral who commanded 
on the Halifax station some years ago; Captain Wise of the 
Gmnu-ux, whose gallant conduct, was conspicuous in the late 
at lack on Algiers; and Mr. Scott, the celebrated surgeon of 
Bromley. Mr. Campbell, the poet, joined us in the evening. 
Captain Dacres, Mr. Adams' 1 cousin, who lost the Gucrricre, 1 
!o ha vi' dined, but was prevented. I had a good deal 
of conversation with Sir Herbert Sawyer on American matters. 
We spent an extremely pleasant day, and at least ended the 
old year happily. 

I*/ January 1817. Breakfasted with Mr. Adams, and re- 
turned to town with Captain Wise, who offered me a seat in 
his gig. Dined with the Merrys, and thus finished my New 

Year's Day. 

1 In the action between the British frigate Gnerrit-re (once a French 
vi>M-l , -\\\ iTuns. cri-w 244, and the American friir.-itc- Constitution (56 guns, 
crew 4;n). Auirust 19, 1812, Captain Dacres fought his ship until she was 
so dam.-igcd that she could not afterwards be kept afloat, and only then 
lowered his flag. 


4>th January. Commenced my journey to Northampton- 
shire to pay the Reverend George Boulton, Rector of Oxen den 
(brother of Mr. D'Arcy Boulton, Attorney-General of Upper 
Canada), my long-promised visit. 

. . . They gave me a very cordial welcome, and from Mr. 
Boultons extreme and indeed wonderful resemblance in manners 
and conversation to his brother, and from the cheerful good- 
humour of the whole family, I soon felt myself perfectly at 

%0th January. I rose at daylight (to return to London), 
and found all the young ladies downstairs and a comfortable 
breakfast waiting for me. . . . 

On the return journey he stopped at Coventry, 
where a fellow-traveller, Mr. Ing, showed him what 
was to be seen. He also visited Kenilworth, Warwick 
Castle, Stratford-on-Avon, and Stowe, reaching 
London on the 25th. 

%8th January. Parliament met to-day, and I went there at 
one o'clock. 

At two o'clock, the Prince Regent entered and delivered 
the speech from the throne in a good strong voice, and with 
proper effect. 

The whole scene is very splendid. The great number of 
well-dressed ladies, foreigners of distinction, peers in their robes, 
bishops in lawn, judges and Serjeants in their wigs and scarlet, 
&c. The Prince must have dreaded very much this necessary 
ceremony, and not without cause, as was proved by the dis- 
graceful outrages committed on his passage back through 
St. James" 1 Park. The window of his state carriage was broken 
in by great stones thrown by the mob, and perforated (as is 
imagined) by bullets. The horses were attacked ; Colonel 
Barton, who commanded the Guards, pelted, &c. 

One thousand pounds reward is offered for the discovery of 
any person who threw the stones, but nothing is yet found out. 

About this time my father ceased keeping his 
Journal regularly, resuming it again during a trip, 


rid Matlock, to tlie English lakes and Scotland in 
April and May 1817, in the form of letters to my 
mother, to whom he was then engaged. 
Writing of Matloek, he says : 

We set out to scramble to the top of High Tor. Did you 
know that this mountain is called "The Height of Abraham," 
from its striking resemblance to the Heights of Abraham at 
Quebec. I was not disappointed. The prospect was awfully 
grand, but not so good as several views we snatched as we 
laboured up the side. 

The Yorkshire scenery struck him as especially 
beautiful. lie writes of the route from Sheffield to 
Leeds, through AY'akcHeld, " I have seen no tract 
of equal extent half so rich and lovely. I must give 
up my favourite Kent, and give, above all, the pre- 
ference to Yorkshire." 

L, 8/A April 1817. 

This morning I was detained determining my tour, and 
preparing for pedestrian feats by sending off my bag. 
to Ambleside to wait for me. At breakfast I met a young 
gentleman who had been detained a prisoner in the United 
States during the late war, and knew some of my old friends 
who were his companions in captivity. 

From this point generally walking, but some- 
times on horseback or driving he visited all the 
points of most interest on Lakes Windermere, Coni- 
ston Water, Grasmere, Derwentwater, and Ulswater. 

In writing to my mother from Windermere, he 
says : " The poetical fit, as I told you, has been 
coming on ever since I beheld the Vale of Otley, 
and all the charms of Yorkshire," and he sends her 
some verses, of which I give the opening and con- 
cluding lines. 


Lines on an April visit to Windermere on a fine evening, 
immediately after a storm. 

THE clouds are fled, the storm is o'er, 
The winds are hushed that swept thy shore, 
'Tis evening, and thy mountains gleam 
Beneath the sun's departing beam, 
The mists the clouds had scattered wide, 
Are gilded as they mount their side. 
More lovely now each charm appears, 
'Tis beauty smiling through her tears. 
Sweet lake, whose bosom clear, serene, 
Reflects each feature of the scene, 
One who ne'er thought to wander here, 
A stranger greets thee, Windermere. 

Born in a land where winter reigns 
Stern as o'er bleak Siberia's plains, 
Where summer's bright and genial sky 
Might rival that of Italy, 
I oft have stray'd where deep'ning wood 
Frowns o'er St. Lawrence' noble flood, 
Or where Niagara's torrents roar 
Sublimest work in nature's store. 
On Abr'ham's plains where Britain's pride 
Lamented Wolfe in victory died. 
But could I hope to wander here, 
On thy sweet margin Windermere ? 


O Sun ! in all thy various course, 
E'en in those regions where thy force 
Is fiercest felt, where shine most bright 
Thy glories splendid orb of light ! 
Where suppliant nations bow the knee 
And own no other God but thee. 
Or in those milder climes where reigns 
Thy temper'd influence o'er the plains, 
Where hills and dales and meads are seen 
Like Albion's, in eternal green, 
Say do'st thou ever rise to cheer 
A brighter scene than Windermere ? 


Farewell each cot, each cove, each hill, 
In mem'ry shall I view thee still, 
Each isle thy ambient water laves 
Each tree that o'er thy bosom waves, 
And ev'ry charm that centres here, 
Farewell farewell sweet Windermere. 

You may smile at your lucky escape when I tell you that, 
some former attacks of the poetical fit, I have been very 
nearly exercising inv troublesome talent on a subject whose 
beauties lie much nearer my heart than those of Windermere, 
but I have managed to restrain my wicked propensity. 

It was prudent evidently to make the first experiment on 

tpoor senseless lake, which cannot feel the insult. 

After seeing Ulswater, he returned to Penrith 
jfore taking the coach to Carlisle. 


So ended my tour of the Lakes. Were I required to give 
,n opinion, I should hesitate much in deciding which is the 
prettiest. Windermere has its island, and its mountains are 
extremely majestic. 

The Coniston Water is beautiful, and its surrounding 
mountains are grand, but there is a nakedness about it. The 
Derwentwater has exquisite beauties. The whole shore from 
the town to the Borrowdale Pass along Lowdon the fine 
islands the wood opposite Keswick the Crosthwaite Church 
at the top Skiddaw behind, and the town of Keswick seated 
on the bank, form a combination of charms. 

But then again Ulswater, with all its grand scenery around 
t (certainly not so wild and romantic as the others), and its 
fine, free, bold expanse of water, has such an air of beauty of 
civilisation, that I believe I should lean to it in my judgment ; 
but it has one sad want islands at least in its principal 

On the whole, my trip to the Lakes gratified me extremely. 
Our large rivers rolling among their numerous islands afford 
many hundreds of scenes of much the same nature, but we 
have no Skiddaw or Helvellyn, and the grand characteristics of 
Westmoreland were a novel sight to me. 


I was much pleased with the people of the country I mean 
the farmers and shepherds. What shoes they use among these 
mountains ; what ponderous frames of wood and iron. Do you 
know I should not be surprised if the phrase of a son " stepping 
into his father's shoes " was taken from Westmoreland and 
Cumberland, where the shoes may literally descend as an heir- 
loom from generation to generation. 

Passing through Gretna Green into Scotland, he 
visited the Falls of the Clyde. 

After I had ascended the hill on my return home, the view 
of the Clyde below me, and of Lanark beautifully situated on 
the opposite bank was extremely pleasing. Indeed, I was sur- 
prised I had not heard the scenery about here more particularly 
spoken of. It excels many places I have seen described in 
most glowing colours, and I shall never withhold my assent 
from any Scotsman when he expatiates on the beauties of 
the " Vale of the Clyde." 

At Glasgow he met an old brother officer, Captain 
Jarvie, who, jointly with his father and brothers, was 
proprietor of the Anderton Rope Works there. 

How little we thought four years ago, when we were march- 
ing about Canada, that we should ever meet in Glasgow. Poor 
fellow, his arm is a useless burthen to him, and another serious 
shot he received in his leg, when York (Toronto) was attacked 
just this month four years ago, 1 has changed him much from 
the braw, sturdy chiel he used to be. I spent the morning in 
perambulating the town under his guidance. 

From Glasgow his route lay by steamer down the 
Clyde to Dunglass, whence he saw Dumbarton 
Castle; then along Loch Lomond to Luss, from 
whence he ascended Ben Lomond ; then by Aber- 

1 Captain Jarvie appears to have served in the Incorporated Militia at 
the taking of York in 1813 and was also in the campaign of 1812. 


foyle to Loch Katrine, Callander, Stirling, and 

Saturday, 19th April 1817. At eight this morning I left 
Stirling in the mail for Edinburgh. This is a charming and 
delightful country. I am quite in love with it. It has far 
exceeded my expectations. . . . 

Before seeing anything in Edinburgh, he deter- 
mined to pay a visit, though a hurried one and in- 
volving a long journey by coach, to Aberdeen. 

K\ could be well content to go no further north, but I cannot 
the idea of being within twenty-four hours of the place 
re Dr. Strachan, my best and dearest friend, was born and 
educated, and where I believe he has a brother still residing, 
ithout making an exertion to see it. 

Setting off at 8 A.M. from Edinburgh, he readied 
Lberdeen after twenty-one hours in the coach. He 
left to return the next day ut 3 P.M., and was in 
Edinburgh at noon the day following, two nights 
(forty-two hours in all) of coach travelling. 

At Aberdeen he found Dr. Strachan's brother, 
who showed him over the Grammar School, where 
Dr. Strachan had been educated, and some other 
places in the town. 

I recognised a little, and but little, of his brother's manner 
in him, for they have been separated nearly twenty years. 
After a good deal of gossiping on subjects equally interesting, 
I really believe, to both of us, he led me round, through and 
about Aberdeen. 

Dempsey^s Inn, at which I stayed, is by far the most com- 
fortable lodging in every way that I have found in Scotland 
I think I may say better than any I have found in England. 
The fish here is delicious, particularly the haddocks, or, as the 
Scotch call them, haddies. 


Of the oatmeal cake he found in Scotland, he 
says : 

I like it very much ; I tasted some in England, but it was 
soft, tough, and sour. The Scotch understand it better ; theirs 
is crisp and sweet. 

On the night journey from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, a 
gentleman I had seen at breakfast at the inn insisted on my 
taking his large greatcoat. I assure you \felt his kindness all 
the way to town, for in this northern climate a night on the 
top of a coach, with a cold wind blowing right off the sea, is 
not at all delightful. Another insisted on my putting on a 
pair of overalls he had with him, part of his old military 
equipment, and pressed it with so much anxiety that I con- 
sented ; and thus, equipped by subscription, I was independent 
of the cold. 

*At breakfast my obliging friend was very anxious to kno\ 
how I had passed the night. There was something in the frank 
openness of his manner that struck me very forcibly from its 
resemblance to something I had been used to, and I could not 
forbear saying, " I am convinced, sir, from your manner and 
voice, that I have travelled before now with some near relations 
of yours a long distance from hence I won't ask you what 
your name is, but what it is not. It is not Forsyth, is it ? w 
" Yes, sir, my name is Forsyth." " Have you not some bro thers 
in America ? " " No, they are cousins ; but I wonder you should 
have been so much struck with the resemblance." 

I had been intimate with several of his family, two of 
whom, when I was a schoolboy, on my different journeys home 
during the vacation, had taken the same care of me that he 
was doing now. This was rather a singular occurrence, and 
has been a fortunate one for me, as he is as kind and attentive 
as the oldest friend could be, and knows everything and every- 
body here (Edinburgh), for he was educated at the Edinburgh 
University, and has hosts of friends in the town. He and I 
took up our lodgings at M'Gregor's Hotel in Princes Street. 

%4<th April. Jeffrey l had begged me to go down early in 

1 Francis Jeffrey, afterwards Lord Jeffrey, Judge of the Court of 




e day to see him, and after my return (from Leith) I should 
have gone, but Captain Barclay, the gallant and unfortunate 
naval officer, who lost his squadron and the use of his remain- 
ing arm on Lake Erie last war, did me the favour to call, and 
h.-ul so many questions to ask about his good friends in Canada, 
that I could not easily leave before three. 

The British squadron on Lake Erie, under the 
command of Captain R. H. Barclay, was after a 
ost gallant contest with a force superior in guns 
and men, compelled to surrender to the American 
fleet on the 10th September 1813. 

^t may be interesting to add that Captain Barclay 
(as well as Wilkie, the celebrated painter), had been 
pupils of Dr. Strachan at the parish school of Kettle 
before the latter went to Canada./ 

My father had brought with him from London 
letters of introduction to Mr. Jeffrey, mentioned 
above, the editor of the Edinburgh Review, and then 
one of the recognised leaders of Whig society in 
Edinburgh ; and also (from Campbell, the poet) to 
Sir Walter (then Mr.) Scott. 

To resume from my father's Journal : 

Jeffrey has a very pretty place called Craig's Crook, about 
three miles from town, which he has taken a twenty years'* lease 
of. Accompanied by Mrs. Jeffrey, we took a long walk before 
dinner around the estate. It commands from different points 
charming views of Edinburgh and the Forth. . . . 

Before dinner we talked of Scotch law and Scotch Judges, 
Lord Selkirk's settlement, &c., and a variety of matters. With 
Mrs. Jeffrey I was rather at home, for she is from New York, 1 
and we found we had many acquaintances in common. 

A Mr. Thomson, editor of Burns's poems, Dr. Gordon, and 
a brother of Mr. Jeffrey's dined with us. 

1 Mrs. Jeffrey was a Miss \Vilkes, of New York. 


I had heard from several people that Jeffrey's conversation 
was like a well-written book, and really his language flows from 
him as rapidly and as naturally as the Clyde rolls down the 
Cora-Linn. In this respect he is a curiosity. But, after all, 
my admiration of him is not unbounded ; for, between ourselves, 
I think him merely a clever man, and should be sorry to be 
bound by his judgment, or to act on all his principles. . . . 

. . . Jeffrey assured me and no one can know better than 
himself that the public have that opinion of Campbell's 
poetical talents, from the great excellence of the few specimens 
he has given, that a bookseller would give 4000 guineas for a 
poem containing 200 pages that he would authenticate with 
his signature. How provoking that the man will not write, 
but compile. . . . 

After three or four days spent in seeing Edinburgh, 
he writes : 

I had thought of staying here till Monday, and hearing a 
sermon on Sunday from Mr. Alison l at the Cowgate Chapel, 
but I have been getting more and more impatient every half- 
hour to move southwards, and have just determined to set out 
at eight in the morning for Melrose. . . . 

From Melrose he walked to Abbotsford (26th 
April 1817). 

I set off with Mr. Campbell's letter and my Ben Lomond 
stick in my hand. As I passed a stone quarry half a mile from 
Abbotsford, a merry simple-looking Scotchman jumped out of 
it, left his work and followed me, eager to give me every 
information. "This place belongs to Mr. Scott, doesn't it?" 
" Aye sure, Walter Scott, Walter Scott." 

This good man I learnt afterwards was Mr. Tom Purdie, 
the "facetious Tom Purdie," as his master called him, the 
poet's factotum and superintendent general. 

At Abbotsford, Mr. Scott came in saying : 

" It gives me the greatest pleasure at all times to see a friend 
of Thomas Campbell, and you could not have come more 

1 The Rev. Archibald Alison, father of Sir Archibald Alison, the historian. 



opportunely, for we are just sitting down to dinner; so walk 
in without ceremony and sec- what we have got." After due 
expressions of extreme regret at the unseasonable interruption, 
I walked in, and was introduced to .Mrs. Scott. They have 
merely eome here themselyes for a week or two, leaving their 
children in Edinburgh* My attention was rou.-ed by the most 
striking specimen of the canine tribe, by name ' 4 Maida," tliat 
I have ever seen, a mo^t beautiful and immense Highland stag- 
hound, with close hair and mane like a lion, 'with his back 
six inches at least above the table, and larger altogether than 
a Highland steal. 

Greyhounds were xhncn about the room, and Mrs. Scott's 
vourite spaniel seemed quite to fancy himself one of the 

Dinner progressed charmingly, and at last, when Mrs. Scott 
withdrew, he squared round to the lire and we sat down to 
our bottle of Madeira. . . . 

His conversation is that of a plain, unaffected, thinking 
man, as remote as possible from anything dogmatic or pedantic 
full of information, dealt out in a simple easy manner; not 
like .leHVcv's, elegant, refined, unhesitating, anil almost ora- 
torical; nor playful, pointed, and sparkling like Mr. Campbell's. 

At Sydenham, besides Mr. Adams's little boys, there are 
often other children in the room, and whenever Mr. Campbell 
opens his mouth, their own conversation is suspended at once, 
and they all look at him with a spreading grin, sure that 
something is coming out very funny; and very rarely indeed 
does he close his mouth without affording them ample excuse 
for increasing that grin to a titter. 

Mr. Scott, good-humoured, and replete with recollections of 
every kind, and drawn from every source, says many good 
things in a plain way, and whenever he describes reminds you 
of some of his poems, giving you all the little traits, the com- 
bination of which makes up the picture, with such striking and 
felicitous minuteness that if you look at him and watch his 
countenance and manner you fancy you are looking at the 
picture he is drawing. 

I shall never forget his description of one of Bird's paint- 



ings which he once saw, and which struck his fancy, called 
"The Arrival of Good News." He put himself into all the 
attitudes, and assumed the different characters of every figure 
in the curious group. The post-boy chuckling as he took his 
dram ; the drunken old soldier ; the country lads quizzing him 
behind his back ; the old village politician who had hold of the 
important Gazette, and was reading it aloud to the company, 
very much annoyed by the officiousness of his next neighbour, 
who as fast as he read the news, was bawling it into the ear of 
a deaf man, whose stupid stare and bewildered eye showed how 
imperfectly he caught it. ... 

As we dined early he took me out afterwards over his 
estate. After a long walk ^about the fields and along the 
river, suspended to point out many projected improvements, 
and to tell at greater ease many a good story, and now and 
then to use the little ivory whistle in calling the greyhounds 
from worrying the hares which abound in the plantations, we 
returned homewards, and took a minute survey of the new 
addition which is building, and which, when finished, will form 
in fact the principal part of the house. " I managed a long 
time,"" he said, " with the rooms I am in, till one day last 
summer, Sir Henry M'Dougairs fat butler actually stuck fast 
between the table and the wall, and then I thought it high 
time to think of enlarging."" 

He is putting up a dining-room of 27 by 17, which, except 
in cases of an extravagant kind, will prevent any similar 
accidents in future. . . . 

He had told me while we were walking that I must stay all 
night, so I made myself easy for the evening, and it was spent 
in the most sociable and familiar manner possible. 

The poet went over all his peregrinations in the Netherlands 
and France in 1814, and related all the particulars of his visit 
to Waterloo three weeks after the battle. It pleased me to 
find that in going over the same country, he was most struck, 
and dwelt with most enthusiasm on the very two things that 
had made, and have left, the strongest impression on my own 
mind the Cathedral at Antwerp, and the view from the 
terrace of St. Germain. , 


I Ie told me that if I would spend another day with him, he 
would take me to see some little lake in the vicinity, which he 
seemed to admire, but I was sensible my visit must be an 
intrusion, and felt it a duty to lessen as much as possible the 
sum of the evil. . . . The next morning I set out on my return 
to Melrose, accompanied by my kind host, who walked a great 
part of the way with me ; and at parting begged me when I 
saw Mr. Campbell to remember me most kindly to him, and 
tell him "how extremely thankful he was to him for affording 
him an opportunity of seeing me." (Vidi / have seen; I 
thought to myself.) 

As my father was only a young man when he 
wrote the above as to Jeffrey, Scott, and Campbell, 
and his acquaintance, with the two former at all 
events, was but a slight travelling one, it is interest- 
ing to compare the impressions set down in his 
Journal with those penned by one l who knew them 
intimately ; and which I give below : 

I saw much (during the winter of 1816-17) of the Whig 
society of Edinburgh, which at that period enjoyed a high, 
and in some respects a deserved reputation. . . . 

There was considerable cleverness, much fun, and great 
bonhomie and joviality in this society, and at Craigcrook in 
particular (Jeffrey^ country house near Edinburgh), where 
Jeffrey gave vent to the kindliness of his disposition, and the 
rich How of his talk, nothing could be more fascinating than 
the conversation which frequently prevailed. . . . 

Sir Walter Scott's memory was extraordinary, as it is in 
almost all men of the highest intellectual character ; his power 
of observation perhaps unrivalled ; his humour great. The 
whole stores of his mind thus acquired, relating chiefly to men, 
manners, and former customs or events, were poured out in 
company, or in his own house, with great power of narrative 
and with infinite humour and effect. But the greater part of 

1 Sir Archibald Alison. 


the charm which captivated all who approached him, lay in the 
manner of telling. . . . 

In ordinary society Campbell did not appear by any means 
to the same advantage as Jeffrey, though he possessed incom- 
parably more genius and sensibility. The former made no 
attempt at display in conversation, but the occasional splendid 
expression, the frequent tear in the eye, bespoke the profound 
emotion which was felt. The latter spoke lightly and felici- 
tously on every subject with equal facility he could descant 
on literature, philosophy, poetry, politics, or the arts ; but the 
very copiousness of the stream, and the readiness with which it 
was poured forth on all occasions, proved that no reluctance 
was felt at unlocking its fountains, and that they lay near 
the surface. No deep wells of thought or feeling existed in 
Jeffrey. . . .* 

My father always looked back with pleasure to 
his having met Scott and Campbell. Engravings of 
both, that of the latter given to him by Campbell, 
hung in his library at Beverley House. 

From Melrose, after seeing the ruins of the Abbey, 
he returned to London, via Kelso, Berwick, Alnwick, 
Newcastle, Durham, York, and Cambridge, stopping 
a little time at some of these places. 

The town of Kelso I am in raptures with, and really 
believe I should choose it for a summer's retirement in pre- 
ference to anything I remember in England or Scotland. It 
is a fine, clean little town. The Tweed and Teviot abound in 
trout, and the walks around are not to be surpassed in beauty 
and pleasantness. 

At Alnwick he had friends in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 
and Major and Mrs. Derenzy. 2 

1 Autobiography of Sir Archibald Alison, by Lady Alison (1883). 

2 A sister of Mrs. Smith was married to Colonel Pilkington, R.E., 
whom my father often saw at Woolwich. Major Derenzy had served in 
the 41st Regiment in Canada in the War of 1812-15. 


It was rather odd, and rather fortunate, that my clever 
calculations should have brought me to AInwick on the very 
day on which Lord Percy was married. The ceremony, as you 
know, took j) lace yesterday in London (2!)th April 1S17), but 
it was celebrated at Alnwick by the usual rejoicings. 

The Duke's tenants began to assemble at an early hour in 
the market-place, where an ox was put on about ten o'clock to 
roast for their repast in the afternoon. This was the first ox 
I had ever seen roasted whole. 

. . . When Mr. Smith gave the signal, about a do/en 
butchers hewed this great ox to pieces on a scaffold in the 
centre of the market-place, and it was then thrown in bits 
among the crowd. Several cartloads of rolls were disposed of 
in the same way, and about 1200 quarts of ale were distributed. 

He wus much struck with King's College, 

The ornamental Gothic carving of the interior is inex- 

ibly rich. The addition of the Crown to the UMial 

Gothic ornaments of the Rose and Portcullis has the finest 
possible effect. 

On the 6th May he returned to London, having 
had most exceptionally fine weather throughout his 

It may be a century before the month of April will be 
found so propitious to the vagabond life I have been leading. 
Not a town have I seen whose streets were not dry, not a lake 
or landscape on which the sun was not shining, nor, except the 
snow-storm on Helvellvn, did I ever ascend an eminence to 
view the prospect it commanded, without enjoying it to its 
utmost limit, unobscured by fog or clouds. . . . 

His Journal closes with this entry : 
17/7? Mat/ 1817. Poole England, 1 now a reduced Captain 
1 Seepage 113. 


of Artillery, breakfasted with me. Our first meeting since we 
were children. 

When not long after this my father returned to 
Canada, it can be gathered from the preceding 
chapters that his experience, both professionally and 
generally, during the five years which had elapsed 
since the breaking out of the War of 1812, had been 
of a more varied kind than was usual at his age. 
Soon after the war he had been placed in a post 
where he had both work and responsibility thrown 
upon him, and had been compelled to decide and 
act for himself. This, with what he had afterwards 
seen of the world, was no doubt of much service 
to him. 




Marriage Return to Canada Appointed Attorney-General Letters 
from Sir F. Robinson, Sir (Jordon Druinmond, and others ( 'ontest 
between Lord Selkirk and the \orth-\\ t^L ( ompany Appointed to 
repre<ent York (Toronto) in the House of Assembly Sent as Com- 
missioner to Kngland on the Mihjt-ot of the fiscal relations hetween 
I'pper and Lourr ( anada Addre-s of both Houses with re-prct 
to this Called to the Knirli^h liar -Interest in emigration De- 
clines Brants of (iovernment land, and the Chief Justiceship of 
Mauritius, Arc.--- Advocates a confederation of all the British Ameri- 
can Provinces Sir 1*. Maitlaml Mr. Copley The Duke of Welling- 
ton Urged by Dr. Strachau to remain permanently in England 
Return to Canada. 

ON the 5th June 1817, my father was married to 
Emma Walker * at the New Church of St. Maryle- 
bone in London. 

About two months afterwards, on 1st August 
1817, they sailed for Canada, and after an exceed- 
ingly bad and long voyage reached York on 1st 
November, and settled down at Beverley House, 2 
which had been purchased from Mr. D'Arcy Boul- 
ton, who built it at some date previous to the 
breaking out of the War of 1812-15. 

In this house, subsequently enlarged, they lived 
until their death, and here all their children were 
born. 3 

1 The daughter of Charles Walker, Esq., of Harlesden, Middlesex, 
whose sister Elizabeth had married Mr. William Merry, and brought up 
this niece a great deal with her own family. 

8 Where my brother, Christopher Robinson, now lives. 

3 See Appendix B., V. 



Before he reached York a vacancy had occurred 
on the Bench in Upper Canada, which led to the 
appointment of Mr. Boulton, then Attorney-General, 
to a Judgeship, and my father was nominated to 
succeed him as Attorney- General, his commission 
being dated llth February 1818. 

The following letter from Sir Gordon Drummond 
to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies 
recommends him for this post in succession to Mr. 
Boulton : 

BATH, 26th March 1817. 

DEAR SIR, Having just been informed that an application 
has recently been made by Mr. Boulton, the Attorney-General 
of Upper Canada, to be promoted to the vacant seat on the 
Bench in that province ; and that a communication has been 
forwarded to His Majesty's Government by Lieutenant- 
Governor Gore recommendatory of that measure, I beg leave 
to remind you of an interview I had the pleasure of having 
with you some time since, in which I urged the appointment 
of Mr. Robinson, the Solicitor-General of Upper Canada, to 
the situation of Attorney- General in the event of Mr. Boulton 
vacating that office. 

It is with peculiar satisfaction that I avail myself of this 
opportunity of bearing testimony to the distinguished talents 
of Mr. Robinson, which were frequently displayed while he was 
acting Attorney-General at the period of my administering 
the government of Upper Canada, in successfully conducting a 
great number of trials for high treason, as well as in frustrat- 
ing several perplexing prosecutions for trespass, &c., which 
were brought by some troublesome disaffected individuals 
against the Government whilst exercising the powers they 
were compelled to assume in defence of the province. 

And I have no hesitation in saying that should the pro- 
motion of this gentleman to the vacant office of Attorney- 
General be deemed expedient by Earl Bathurst, he will fulfil 
the duties of that appointment with no less credit to himself 


than advantage to the public- service. I have the honour to 
>, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

H. Goi LIU UN, Ks(jiiirc, 

I 'luk'r-Sccrct.-iry of State for the Colonies. 

The letters below are also of this period (1817-1 8). 

From Sir Frederick liulnnxon l to J. B. Robinson (alluding 
to h'ut Marriage). 

TOBAGO, 30th August 1817. 

My congratulations will come on a day after the usual 
:ime, but nevertheless I will congratulate you with all my 
art, and hearty wishes for a long continuance of domestic 
lappiness to you and vour wife. I wish I could witness it 
personally, but I fear you will have returned to Canada long 
before I shall be able to leave this for England. 

Were I in any other country or climate than this, I would 
ideavour to bribe you to come to me, but as it is I cannot 

I will, however, tell you that there is no great improbability 
of my having a situation in the land to dispose of; and, at all 
events, if any young lawyer would come well introduced to me, 
I would ensure him a large and rapid fortune, there being a 
press of business with very high fees. It is more than probable 
that you have seen my daughters Annie and Augusta 2 on their 
return to England. They will give you a full account of this 
island. \Ve never have a headache among us, and begin to 
think people may vegetate here as well as in other countri 

Pray present my most affectionate regards \\ith those of my 
daughters to your wife. We do most sincerely \\i>h you every 
happiness. Remember us also most kindly to the Merry s. 

From Elizabeth (Mrs. William') Merry to Emma RobtMOn. 

tiowr.u fan i:r. -2Wfi ^'ni-t-nihcr 1817. 

MY VERY DEAR EMMA, The view of your handwriting was 

1 Then Governor 

2 Annie married the Ro\ i>ivtid \\'. Wilson, but left no children ; 
Augusta died unmarried in Tobago. 


the most delightful sight I have beheld for a length of time. 
There seemed to be no end to the week after week without a 
line from you, the latest intelligence being from the Downs the 
4th August. 

But that is over, and your delightfully welcome packet 
came to hand on the 10th, and I rejoice to hear you are happily 
arrived after your dreadful voyage. 

... It is well there are some few years between now and 
the time you talked of again coming to England, as I fear, 
with the present impression on your mind, your inclination 
would not lead you to encounter again what you must have 
suffered. . . . 

From Sir Frederick Robinson to J. B. Robinson. 

TOBAGO, 7th July 1818. 

. . . We are all anxious to hear from you, and to know 
the truth of the report of a young Attorney-General * having 
arrived to assist you in your office. 

... If this should ever reach you, pray lose no time in 
giving me a particular account of yourself and family, together 
with one of my quondam Government, which I am still as much 
interested in as ever. Let me know what changes have taken 
place and how things are going on, dwelling a little on the 
settlement on the Rideau, as well as that at the head of the 
Bay of Quinte. 

I shall never be so interested in any Government as I was 
in that of Upper Canada. There was much to be done, and 
everything was interesting. 

We have read a great deal in the papers about Lord 
Selkirk's affair, 2 which is as extraordinary a case as ever 
appeared in the history of new settlers. It appears in a 
different complexion, I think, to what it did when I first 
heard of it. 

My whole flock unite in best regards to you and yours. 

1 Alludes to the birth of James Lukin Robinson, born 27th March 

2 See following pages as to this. 


hope your wife will enter into a correspondence or rather 
renew one with my daughter Maria, 1 and I trust I shall soon 
r from you. 

For the next few years my father's work at the 
and in the House of Assembly, as Attorney- 
reneral, and also Member for York (now Toronto), 

he became in 1821, was hard and constant. 
Legal proceedings of a troublesome kind grew 
it of serious disturbances which had taken place 
the North- West Territory of Canada between 
ic Hudson's Bay and the North - West Fur 
Yading Companies in the years 1815, '16, and '17, 
ie former of these having claimed the right to 
irtain tracts of land and exclusive trading in them 
>t admitted by the latter. 

The fiscal relations also between Upper and 
>wer Canada became strained, which led to my 
ither being sent to England as Commissioner with 
spect to them, and he was then able to complete 
his terms and be called to the English Bar. 

Proposals for the union of the two Canadas, 
and also of all the British American Provinces, 
were raised when he was in England, and he then 
advocated the latter measure to the utmost of his 

The question of emigration to Canada was one 
which much interested him ; and with respect to his 
work altogether within the period between 1818 and 
1823 he thus refers in his Memorandum : 

I had now some responsible and difficult duties to 

1 Afterwards Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton, married to Hamilton C. J. 
Hamilton Esq., of the Diplomatic Service, and died at Brighton in 1884. 


Large estates had been forfeited to the Crown by the 
treason of their possessors ; and many more, under a provincial 
statute, by the owners abandoning the province during the 
war and withdrawing to the United States. I had to frame 
the statute for vesting these estates in commission, providing 
for the satisfaction of all lawful claims upon them, and for the 
sale of the estates and appropriation of the proceeds. 

The contest between Lord Selkirk and the North- West 
Company in the Hudson's Bay territory occasioned great 
disturbance, many acts of violence, and some bloodshed, in 
the years 1815, 1816, 1817. The offences committed there 
were, under a British Act of Parliament, made triable in 
Upper Canada. This threw upon me, as Attorney-General, 
a responsible and arduous duty. Many indictments had been 
preferred at the instance of Lord Selkirk against partners, 
clerks, and servants of the North- West Company for alleged 
felonies, which, under the statute I have referred to, were sent 
to Upper Canada to be tried. These were disposed of at our 
ordinary criminal court. 

The Royal Commissioners sent into the Indian territory 
had collected an immense mass of evidence, and made a report, 
which furnished the foundation of my proceedings. 

Lord Selkirk had been, in his youth, brought up to the 
legal profession ; and he assumed very much to control the 
conduct of such criminal proceedings as he desired should be 
instituted on his behalf against the agents and servants of the 
North- West Company. He seemed to have been, in a great 
degree, permitted to do so in Lower Canada, but in Upper 
Canada I declined to allow any further interference with my 
discretion and duties as public prosecutor than appeared to me 
to belong properly to his position as a complainant. 

The North- West Company, on their part, complained of 
many illegal acts committed against them, some of them of a 
most extraordinary character; but they were content to leave 
the method of dealing with them to the proper public autho- 
rities, without attempting to dictate. 

On a view of the whole immense mass of evidence, it 
appeared to me to be obviously the proper course, instead of 


indicting, as Lord Selkirk desired me, for murder and larceny 
and arson, to look upon all tliat had been done by his Lordship 
and his associates, in a high-handed contest of this nature, as 
so many efforts on their part to ruin their opponents, hy pos- 

: ig themselves of their effects and supplanting them in their 
trade. I accordingly presented an indictment of that charac- 
prepared after much labour and with great care. 

The efforts of his Lordship to prevent the bill being found 
bv the (Irand Jury were in every point of view extraordinary, 

Ewciv unsuccessful. 
Nevertheless, as soon as the indictment was found, Lord 
\irk, instead of remaining to abide his trial, withdrew to 
Knglund, where lie addressed to the Government,' and made 
in his place in Parliament, the most ungenerous complaints 
against the (Government of this province, and especially the 
Attorney-General, whom he charged with all kinds of injustice 

This occasioned a call from the Secretary of State upon the 
Governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland, for a full report of all that 

ken place in the proceedings within his Government. 
It became my duty to furnish this, and I wa^ happy in 
being called upon to do so. though the details filled eighty 
. besides a large appendix, in which, among other things, 
the whole correspondence that had taken place with Lord 
Selkirk was inserted. 

Not long after, 1 Lord Selkirk died, one consequence of 
which I could not but regret, for nothing more was ever heard 
in Parliament upon the subject, and all that had been made 
public was his Lordship's unfounded accusation. The state- 
ments and proof's by which its injustice was exposed never went 
out of the Colonial Office. 

These proceedings kept me laboriously employed for many 
months, and they compelled me to relinquish one of my 
ordinary circuits. I confined myself to the official scale of 
charge for ordinary prosecutions, according to which the 

1 Lord Selkirk died at Pau, 8th April 1820, having gone there from 
England in bad health. 


indictment for conspiracy stood in my account charged at 
which probably did not pay for the parchment on which it was 
engrossed, and all that I did in the whole of these prosecutions 
did not impose upon the Government any greater burthen, nor 
produce to myself any greater recompense, than about =40, 
which, I think, did not reimburse what I had expended in 
stationery, postage, and copying clerks. I mention this not as 
giving me any ground of complaint against the Government. 
If I had applied for a more adequate remuneration, it would 
not have been refused, but I abstained from doing so, perhaps 

Before passing on to other matters, I will sup- 
plement my father's references to the disturbances 
in the North- West Territory by a fuller explanation 
of what had occurred there ; and close with a letter 
he received from the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies in May 1819 in connection with these 

The contests which took place in the years 1815, 
1816, and 1817 between the rival Hudson's Bay 
and North -West Companies recall the warfare 
on the Scotch and English borders in the Middle 

Lord Selkirk had, in 1812, formed a settlement 
at Red River, on land conveyed to him by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 1 

Between this Company and the North- West 
Company of Montreal, there was, no doubt, inde- 
pendently of any action on Lord Selkirk's part, 
commercial rivalry if not enmity. 

Both Companies had arms and fortified posts, for 

security against Indians and the safety of their 


1 Consisting of large tracts over which, before his acquirement of the 
land, the North- West Company had, it is stated, comparative freedom in 
hunting, &c. (See " Dictionary of National Biography"" Selkirk.") 




goods ; and in 1813, after war had broken out with 
the United States, arms, ammunition, and a lew 
light field-pieces were granted by Government to 
Lord Selkirk for the defence of his settlement, which 
later on joined by a body of disbanded soldiers 
of the regiments of De Mcuron and \Vatteville. 

The Earl of Selkirk occupied a peculiar position 

the North-West Territory. His high rank, his 
thority as chief of the settlement, and his status 

a magistrate enabling him to issue his own 
arrants all combined to give him an exceptional 
influence and power in the country. Apparently, 
the North- West Company did not so much harbour 
grievances against the Hudson's Bay Company as 
against him, one of the partners of the former com- 
pany speaking of the committee of the latter as 
being a " mere machine in the hands of Lord Sel- 
kirk," whose influence was said to be a controlling 

The interests of bond fide agricultural settlers 
would doubtless be fairly opposed in some respects 
to those of a fur-trading company; and in a wild 
country, such as the North-West then was, those 
who, like Lord Selkirk, have authority and power 
must not hesitate to put down outrages with a 
strong hand ; but what the North- West Company 
complained of was that Lord Selkirk's settlers and 
followers were virtually traders themselves, conspir- 
ing by every means to compass their ruin, and that 
his authority was oppressively exercised to interested 

It can be readily understood how in this situation 
of affairs, bitter hostility, followed by armed conflict 
and crime, soon grew up, and plunged the country 


into what was little short of a state of constant war, 
extending over three years. 

Without entering in detail into the accusations 
made on each side, it may be mentioned that the 
adherents of the North- West Company charged Lord 
Selkirk and his followers with, among other violent 
acts, forcibly occupying their post at Fort William, 
under a warrant granted by Lord Selkirk himself, 
remaining in possession some months, imprisoning 
their officials, and robbing them of eighty-three 

On the other hand, Lord Selkirk asserted that 
the North- West Company had employed against his 
settlement field-guns robbed from the stores of the 
colony, been guilty of the massacre of Governor 
Semple of the Hudson's Bay Company and some of 
his men at Red River who had been killed in one 
of the raids which had taken place and were bent 
upon the destruction of his settlers, which rendered 
this seizure of their post and of their arms justifiable. 
He brought in fact charges of murder, burglary, and 
arson ah 1 capital offences at that time. 

At one period Lord Selkirk arrested some of the 
partners of the North- West Company, sending them 
down to Montreal ; and at another he refused to 
submit to the execution of a legal warrant served on 
himself, and imprisoned the officer serving it. 

This latter act resulted in positive instructions 
from the Secretary of State in England that the 
Crown officers in Canada should prosecute him for 
this open defiance of the law. 

Eventually an indictment was preferred before a 
Grand Jury at Sandwich, in the Western district, 
against the Earl and others for resisting the execu- 


tion of u legal warrant, and other offences. The 
contests had caused much excitement, and roused a 
great deal of partisan feeling throughout the country. 
While the charges were pending and before the jury, 
efforts were made (to what my father considered a 
highly reprehensible extent), by the publication of 
one-sided accounts in pamphlets, &c., which were 
circulated with mischievous industry, to bias public 
feeling, and discredit the testimony of those who 
would be witne- 

In one of these, issued by Lord Selkirk's side, 
appeared copies of all depositions of importance 
which Lord Selkirk or other magistrates had taken 
for the prosecution of various other charges, for which 
men were afterwards to be tried for their li 

The Judges and the Crown officers were freely 
aspersed, and accused of partiality or incompetence. 

After sitting for four days the jury could not 
agree, and although the Bill was not thrown out, the 
.Judge then decided to adjourn the Court shic die. 

In October 1818 prisoners accused by Lord 
Selkirk of the gravest crimes were tried at York, 
and acquitted ; and in two civil actions brought 
against the Earl for false imprisonment verdicts 
and substantial damages were obtained by the com- 

In 1819, although a bill of indictment had not 
been found at Sandwich against Lord Selkirk and 
others, one was so at York ; but, as explained by my 
father, owing to the withdrawal of the Earl to 
England, his death, and other causes, the grounds of 
the prosecution were never very thoroughly under- 
stood by the general public. The accusations on 
both sides which had to be investigated were 



numerous and intricate, and their examination must 
have been very tedious and difficult. 

Lord Selkirk's own statement of his case is con- 
tained in a letter to the Earl of Liverpool, dated 
19th March 1819, and published, together with a cor- 
respondence which went on between his brother-in- 
law, J. Halkett, Esq., and the Colonial Office, in the 
years 1817, 1818, and 1819, upon the subject of the 
Red River Settlement. 

Whatever may have been his responsibility for 
the occurrences in the North- West Territory, he was 
an active coloniser, and did much for emigration and 
the settlement of Prince Edward's Island and the 
North- West ; and one must sincerely regret that he 
became involved in these disturbances, of which the 
turmoil and worry only closed with his life. 

The end of all these troubles was that, not long 
after his death, the Hudson's Bay Company and the 
North- West Company amalgamated. 

The following letter from the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies to the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Upper Canada expresses the opinion of the Crown 
as to the manner in which my father had dis- 
charged his duty as Attorney- General in connection 
with the above events : 

DOWNING STREET, llth May 1819. 

SIR, I have had the honour of receiving your despatch of 
the 6th January, transmitting copies of letters addressed to 
you by the Earl of Selkirk and the North- West Company. 

I have not failed to lay these papers before His Royal 
Highness the Prince Regent, and I should not do justice to the 
Attorney-General if I were to forbear expressing the satisfac- 
tion which I have derived from his detailed explanation, and 
desiring you to assure him that the temper and judgment with 


which he has conducted himself during the whole of these long 
and difficult proceedings have received His Royal Highness' 
entire approbation. I have the honour to be, &c., 


J/// Father** Account continued. 

In 1821, I became the representative of the town of York 
in the Assembly. 

The Upper Province was then in great difficulty from the 
Province of Lower Canada refusing, unreasonably, to concur 
in any measure, such as had been adopted by consent from 
time to time, for dividing the duties levied on importations 
at the Port of Quebec*. 

This obstructed for several years the receipt of three- 
fourths of our revenue. The political leaders in the Assembly 
of Lower Canada denied our right to any share of the duties. 
We were thus extremely embarrassed, owing many thousand 
pounds to wounded militia pensioners, and to the wives and 
children of those killed, besides other debts. 

I then framed the first Act that was passed for borrowing 
money upon provincial debentures, with all those provisions 
necessary for guarding the public and the holders of the 
securities ; and these have been followed from that time to 
this so that I had the glory of laying the foundation of our 
public debt, which has grown from our modest beginning of 
.25,000 to (in 1854) the respectable amount of four millions. 

In 1822 the evils arising from the detention of our revenue 
by Lower Canada became intolerable, and I was appointed by 
the Government, upon the joint addresses of both Houses of 
the Legislature, to proceed to England as Commissioner on 
behalf of the province, to procure, if possible, the interference 
of Parliament for securing the just division of revenue between 
Upper and Lower Canada. 1 

In this mission I had the good fortune to succeed, and 
obtained the passing of the Statute 3 & 4 Geo. IV. ch. 119 

1 His commission to perform this duty is dated 22nd January 1822. 


or rather, I mean, of that portion of it which relates to the 
division of duties by arbitration, which part of the Act was 
wholly framed by myself, and after examination by the Crown 
officers in England, was passed without any alteration. 

Both branches of the Legislature concurred in addresses of 
thanks to me for the service I had rendered, and I was liberally 
indemnified for my expenses and loss of time. 

I here give addresses of both Houses in connec- 
tion with the mission above alluded to. His selection 
for so important a duty and the appreciation of the 
way it had been carried out must have been gratify- 
ing to him. He was then very little over thirty 
years of age. 

Address desiring his Appointment agreed to in January 1822. 

To His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland, Commander of the 
Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Province of Upper Canada, and Major- 
General commanding His Majesty's Forces therein, &c. 

May it please your Excellency : 

The Legislative Council and House of Assembly while con- 
curring in a report, and in an address to our Most Gracious 
Sovereign on the subject of our provincial relations with Lower 
Canada, have also united in a desire that on an occasion of 
such vast importance to the interests of this province some 
person of talent and consideration may be appointed to lay this 
address at the foot of the Throne. 

The Legislative Council and House of Assembly, while 
they disclaim all desire of interfering with an appointment 
which, by their joint resolution, rests solely with your Excel- 
lency, and repose the fullest confidence in your Excellency's 
wisdom to select a person fully qualified for this important 
mission, on considering the magnitude of the subject, have 
agreed in opinion, from the experience of the extensive infor- 


mation of his Majesty's Attorney-General on the affairs of 
this province, that the duties suggested by the report will be 
fulfilled by him in the manner most conducive to the attain- 
ment of the important end they have in view. 

Vote of ITianks of the Legislative Council passed on his 
return to Canada, 5th March 18J5. 

Resolved unanimously : 

That the thanks of this House be given to JOHN BEVERLEY 
ROHINSON, Esquire, for the distinguished ability, zeal, and 
discretion manifested in the discharge of the important trust 
confided to him as Commissioner to bear to the foot of the 
Throne an humble address on the fiscal relations of this pro- 
vince with Lower Canada, and in so success fully obtaining the 
object of our prayer. 


In forwarding this resolution to him in England, 
Chief-Justice Powell added : 

You will not question how grateful to me is this consumma- 
tion of my early judgment, or the sincere pleasure with which 
I communicate this honourable testimony. 

The House of Assembly had previously (17th 
January 1823), in answer to the speech of his 
Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor at the opening 
of the session, expressed itself as " perfectly disposed 
to concur in his Excellency's opinion as to the able 
manner in which the Commissioner had conducted 
the important negotiation with which he was en- 

Some friends in York were anxious also to offer a 
further acknowledgment of his services in the shape 
of a public testimonial in proof of their " private 
attachment and public respect," but this he begged 
might not be done. 


Account continued. 

While in England on this occasion, I completed my terms 
at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the Bar there in Hilary 
Term, 6th February 1823. 

I was of use, at the same time, in England in various other 
public matters, particularly on the question of Emigration, and 
was detained by them longer than would have been necessary 
by the mere business that took me over. 

To mark the sense which the Government in England 
entertained of the services I had rendered in all these matters, 
the Under-Secretary of State informed me that an instruction 
would be sent to the Colonial Government to make me a grant 
of the waste lands of the Crown, which used to be ordinarily 
granted to members of the Executive Council either 6000 or 
10,000 acres, as the Government might approve of. 

On reflection I declined it, from an impression that, being 
a member of the Legislature, it would be better for me to 
accept of nothing which, from the jealousy it might create, or 
on any ground, might lessen my weight in the Assembly, and 
disable me from serving the Government as efficiently as I 
otherwise might. 

In August 1823 I returned to Canada. Before I departed 
(in April 1823) I received a letter from the Under-Secretary of 
State, written by desire of Lord Bathurst, informing me that 
the arrangements which Lord Bathurst had in contemplation 
to make at Mauritius would occasion a vacancy in the office of 
Chief Judge in that colony ; that the salary attached to the 
situation was ^3500 sterling a year, with an allowance at the 
rate of 120 dollars per month for house rent ; that if I should 
prefer the situation to that then held by me in Upper Canada, 
Lord Bathurst would feel disposed to submit my name to his 
Majesty for the appointment ; and that his Lordship directed 
him to add that he felt much pleasure in availing himself of 
that opportunity to mark his sense of the zeal and ability with 
which I had discharged the duties of Attorney-General in the 
Province of Upper Canada. 

I was in a subsequent note informed that, according to the 


rule in the Southern and Eastern Colonies, I could retire if I 
pleased after seven years' service, upon an allowance which was 
not yet definitely fixed, but which I would be safe in assuming 
would not be less than X'15()0 sterling. 

I del-lined this also not wisely, perhaps, as I have had 
occasion since to feel 1 and chiefly for the reason that I 
believed my services as Attorney-General and a member of 
the Legislature in this large and important colony were much 
more useful than they were likely to be in Mauritius. We 
perhaps grow more seliish as we grow older; but I certainly 
did, in those days, think more of public duty than of private 

I interrupt my father's account here by inserting 
his letter to Mr. Wilmot Horton, declining this ap- 
pointment : 

April Itt 

MY DEAR SIR, I beg you will assure Lord Bathurst that I 
am very grateful for the communication contained in your note 
of the 15th April. 

Attachments of a public and private nature lead me to 
prefer my present situation in Canada to one more lucrative in 
another colony, in which I should probably take less interest 
and might therefore be less useful; but I do not on that 
account more lightly value this additional proof of his Lord- 
ship's kindness and confidence, rendered the more gratifying 
from the circumstances of its being unsolicited and from the 
terms in which it has been conveyed. 

Suffer me also to use this occasion of offering you my sincere 
thanks for the kindness you have constantly shown me. . . . 
I remain, &c. 

1 In saving this he no doubt refers to the reduction which subsequently 
took place in the official income of the Chief Ju>tice of I "pper Canada. 

a Tlu' Lnir Journal of I'pper Canada (March IMC.",) remarks as to his 
having declined this appointment: "His decision in this matter lias 
shown more forcibly than any act of his life how ^reat a love he bore 
to his native land, and establishes the fact that his public acts were in- 
fluenced solely by motives of the purest patriotism, and not by any sordid 
or seltish hope of personal advancement." 


Account continued. 

In 1823, while I was in England, a gentleman, who had 
formerly been in Canada, but was then holding an influential 
position in Oxford, wrote to me that if I would come down 
from London on their great occasion which was then approach- 
ing, he would engage that I should receive the honorary degree 
of D.C.L. ; that he had spoken of it in the necessary quarters, 
and had ascertained that there would be no difficulty, the 
ground on which it would be conferred being, in addition to 
my official position as Attorney-General, my strenuous and 
consistent support of the rights of the Church of England in 
tipper Canada. 

I answered that I did not feel that I had sufficient pre- 
tensions to the distinction, and declined, which I have some- 
times since regretted, considering my subsequent connection 
with our College here. 1 

Among other public questions in which my father 
interested himself at this time in England, he took 
up very strongly that of a Legislative Union of the 
whole of the British- American Colonies, urging it 
upon the attention of the Colonial Office. 

In 1822 a Bill had been introduced by Mr. 
Wilmot 2 into Parliament for uniting the two Legis- 
latures of Upper and Lower Canada together, the 
other provinces not being included, but opinion was 
much divided as to the advisability of the measure, 
and it fell through. 

Writing in his diary on 5th January 1823, my 
father says : 

Spoke (to Mr. Wilmot) upon a design of uniting all the 

1 As Chancellor of Trinity College University, Toronto. Not long 
after the above was written, and when on a visit to England in 1855, the 
honorary degree of D.C.L. was conferred upon him at Oxford. 

2 Afterwards Sir Wilmot Horton, Under-Secretory of State for the 
Colonies at this time. He was Governor of Ceylon 1831-37, and took an 
active interest in all Colonial and emigration questions. He died 1841. 


North-American Colonies, and I am to write remarks on the 
subject, having several times pressed it upon his consideration. 
My plan would go further than the suggestions I have seen, 
and would make the Colonies effectually an integral part of the 
Empire if adopted. 

The " remarks " alluded to above were embodied 
in a letter addressed to Lord Bathurst, Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, and afterwards published 
in pamphlet form 1 in London, under the title of 
** Plan for a general Legislative Union of the British 
Provinces in North America," accompanied by ex- 
tracts from a paper on the subject written in 1807 
by Chief-Justice Scwell. 

In this pamphlet my father, speaking of the feel- 
ing of the English population throughout the Canadas 
with respect to the union of the two Canadas only, 
without the other provinces, says : 

Many of them regard the union as a measure of doubtful 
tendency, and are really unable to come to a decided opinion as 
to the preponderance of good or evil likely to result from it. 
Of these some think the experiment may be made with safety; 
others are apprehensive that it may produce much mischief 
and inconvenience; and, though they are not convinced that 
the union might not, on the whole, and in the end, be beneficial, 
they are so much in doubt about it, that they would rather 
not run the hazard of disturbing the present state of things. 

But there is a remedy within the power of Parliament 
for all these perplexities. The measure alluded to is the 
uniting the British North American Provinces into one grand 

He then gives the details of his plan, with the 
number of members to compose the Legislative 

1 Dr. Strachan also published a pamphlet in 18:2-, urpnjr a union of all 
the British-American Colonies, in lieu of the proposed limited union of 
the two Canadas. 


Council to be delegated from each province, &c., to 
the "New Albion" or "British North America," 
and continues : 

The actual consolidation of the British Empire would be at 
least a grand measure of national policy. To recapitulate, it 
is believed that to unite the British North American Provinces 
by giving them a common legislature and erecting them into a 
kingdom, would be gratifying to all those Colonies it would 
put an end to all danger and inconveniences from petty factions 
and local discontents, and secure the public counsels of all the 
Colonies from foreign influence. 

But the Government in England were not dis- 
posed to take up the matter of the more extended 
Union, and rightly or wrongly considered that, so 
far from the measure advocated being one which 
would be gratifying to all the Colonies (as my father 
then believed it would, if properly brought before 
them), the proposal would not be entertained by 

This view may have been right though that is 
uncertain and without doubt no scheme of union 
or federation can be pressed to advantage upon in- 
different or reluctant provinces. 

The subject was in any case dropped for the time, 
though my father (see next chapter) returned to it 
again the following year, and once more without 

Looking back now to this period it seems at 
least to be regretted that this union was not 
more favourably entertained and actively pressed 
during the years between 1822 and 1830, when the 
feeling between Lower and Upper Canada the one 
province chiefly French and the other British had 


not assumed the character which, under pressure of 
political influences, it did later on. 

It seems possihle that could such a union of all 
the British-American Provinces have been carried 
at this time, the Rebellion, which delayed it for 
many years (as after this the maritime provinces 
were less disposed to join the Canadas), might not 
have occurred, and political changes, becoming in- 
evitable, might have been introduced into Canada, 
as they were in England, it' not without contention, 
at all events without bloodshed. 

Mr. Dent, writing of the union of Upper with 
Lower Canada which took place under the Union 
Hill of 1840, ' and alluding to my father's opposition 
to it, says : 

Mr. Robinson had sixteen years before been an advocate of 
such a union as he now opposed, but had subsequently seen 
reason for changing his views. 

This arises no doubt from a misapprehension of 
what my father did advocate. What he urged in 
1822 and again in 1824-25 (see next chapter) was 
not such a union as took place in 1840 (i.e. of Upper 
and Lower Canada only), but a union of all the 
British North American Provinces, which became a 
recognised necessity in 1867, after the former measure 
had led to a political i 

On this visit to England in 1822-23, my father 
was accompanied by my mother and eldest sister, 
then a child, his two boys being left in Canada, but 
of these years and 1825 (when he was again in 

1 " Canada since the Union of 1841," by John Charles Dent. 


England) comparatively few references to occupations 
and interests other than those of a public character 
have been preserved. 

Writing to Sir Peregrine Maitland, 16th July 
1822, he thanks him for some letters of introduction, 
and thus alludes to his first meeting with Serjeant 
Copley (afterwards Lord Lyndhurst) and with the 
Duke of Wellington, whom he met frequently in 
subsequent years : 

I am much indebted to you for your kind letter of 
20th April. Sir William Robinson had before introduced me 
to Serjeant Copley, and I had the pleasure of meeting at his 
house a few weeks ago some of your nephews and nieces, who 
had, of course, many questions to ask about Canada. 1 

From Earl Bathurst, in the intercourse I have had with 
him, I have experienced the greatest kindness. He and the 
Countess invited us to dinner, and it was no small gratification 
to me to meet there the Duke of Wellington, Lord Liverpool, 
the Duchess of Richmond, and others. 

At this time Dr. Strachan again strongly 
pressed upon my father the advantages which, in 
his opinion, would attend his remaining altogether 
in England and entering into professional and 
parliamentary life there ; and the question of his 
doing so was more than once the subject of dis- 
cussion and correspondence with Sir Wilmot Horton 
and others. 

But there were difficulties in the way. He had 
now a family 2 growing up around him, and the 
change must have been, in any case, one from a 
comparative certainty to an uncertainty. 

1 This interest arose from Sir Peregrine Maitland,, Lieutenant-Governor 
of Upper Canada, 1820-28, having married Lady Sarah Lennox, daughter 
of the Duke of Richmond who had been Governor-General of Canada, 

a For particulars as to his children, see Appendix B., V 7 . 



These and other considerations, among which it 
may be truly said was his affection for Canada, led 

liis never acting on their advice. 

One of Dr. Strachan's letters to him on this 
subject is of more than usual interest, and I now 
give some extracts from it : 

From Dr. Stracltan. 

YORK, WthJnne IH'JJ. 

MY DKAR JOHN, I was much gratified by your letter of the 
llth April to invsi-lf. You will he able to reward the pro- 
vince for the confidence it has reposed in you, and acquit your- 
If in a manner creditable to yourself and satisfactory to your 
oelings. I need not trouble you with any re-marks on the two 
important general Bills you mention. To the first, regarding 
the West Indies, there may be some objections offered of a 
very weighty nature, but I presume that the fear of the total 
ruin of our sugar islands compels Government to throw their 
ports open to the Americans. I hope the Colonial ships will 
be allowed to trade from island to island and from colony to 
colony, while the Americans are forced to clear from a port in 
their own country to one of ours and straight back. I am 
aware that all restrictions whatever are condemned by Dr. 
Smith and his disciples, but it is inv decided opinion that till 
all nations throw aside the shackles of commerce we cannot 
afford to make ours entirely free. 1 

I was much pleased to find that you have been so much 
consulted upon this change of policy; but especially upon the 
Canada Hill, for the draft of which we are exceedingly anxious. 
I am also glad that you are to draw it up. Here appears the 
advantage of having you at home. Mr. Caldwell and the 
Solicitor-General of Lower Canada will perceive that you are 
solicitous for the interests of both provinces, and desire only 
such provisions in the proposed laws as cannot be justly found 
fault with. I trust and hope that nothing will happen to 

1 It is curious that now, eighty years after the above wonN \voro 
written, the question of whether free trade, or only partial free trade 
would he the best in the interests of the Empire, should be attracting 
such serious attention. 


thwart or impede the progress of the Bills in their passage 
through Parliament. I participate most sincerely in the 
anxiety you must feel upon this occasion, and I most fervently 
pray that the prosperity hitherto vouchsafed you by a kind 
Providence may always continue. 

As anything I could say respecting your public measures 
would be now too late to answer any purpose, I will revert to 
your own affairs. I am against your returning before you are 
admitted to the Bar. 

... I thought it better to stop here and to talk to Hillier * 
on the subject. He says the General thinks of a middle 
course that you leave Mrs. Robinson in England, come out 
to attend the session of Parliament, with your documents, &c., 
and deliver them yourself, and explain what you have effected. 
After the close of the session you may return to England and 
remain as long as you think fit. I must admit that some very 
considerable advantages attend this plan. You anticipate very 
truly that I will speak of your remaining in England though I 
first bring you back to Canada. As Attorney-General here, 
you will have for many years to come the whole weight of 
public business on your shoulders. You will have all the 
Bills to draw ; your best motives will be questioned and belied, 
your words and expressions twisted, your conduct slandered, 
and all this without any redeeming advantage. After many 
years of painful, thankless labour, and perhaps many difficulties 
and mortifications from changes in our administration, new 
Governors, &c., you may be promoted to the office of Chief 
Justice. This is, however, by no means certain, for by a 
change in the Ministry, you may suffer the mortification of 
having a person set over your head. But we will suppose no 
such disappointment, and that you are Chief. You have then 
our House to keep in order, 2 and to maintain peace between us 
and the Assembly. 

I am willing to allow that this prospect was once a fair 

1 Colonel Hillier was private secretary to General Sir Peregrine Mait- 
land, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. 

2 The Chief Justice of Upper Canada was at this time ex qfficio Speaker 
of the Legislative Council. 




object of ambition, but tilings are now changed, and an 
opportunity presents itself to you of acting on a more brilliant 
field. Turn we then to England. 

You :nv there on a vast theatre. You get admittance to 
the Bar; a single cause of general interest and importan. 

11 you want to place you in that rank which would enable you 
to command everything reasonable; and a short time at the 
Bar will open for you the doors of the House of Commons, 
where your talents will be duly appreciated. Your entrance 
into the House will be attended by situations of confu! 
.nd emolument, and you will be able in a short time to do 
more tor your family and friends than you can ever do in 
Canada; and all this with less trouble infinitely less than 
YOU will have to surmount here. I have myself some ambition 
to be known as the tutor of a second Pitt, for I really think 
that you possess more real knowledge than he did when he 
hi'gdn his political career. You know more of men and 
manners, of the different views and interests of the various 
divisions of the Empire, have greater insight into human 
nature, and greater strength and industry to second the con- 
ceptions of your mind. 1 I am perfectly persuaded that you 
will be found equal to your situation, and that your talents 
will expand with your calls for their exertion. In saving all 
this you will not suspect me of flattery, for I am not given to 
that vice at any time. I may indeed be mistaken, and may 
value your talents higher than I ought from partial affection, 
but you will, I am sure, admit that I am not often mistaken in 
reading character, and that I judge, in most cases, correctly of 
men. In your case my opinion is not so much founded on 
personal attainments, great as they are, as on your capacity 
and industry and energy, which, rising from a good foundation, 
qualify you to meet every emergency. 

You may, in power, do infinite good to the British Empire, 
for I could show you that many of the difficulties with which 

1 Though the expressions here used may appear exaggerated, I do not 
omit them, as they show the opinion which Dr. Strachan, his old master, 
had now formed of my father's capacity for public affairs. 


she is embarrassed arise from the ignorance of men in power 
not a culpable ignorance, but from their want of a species of 
knowledge which they have had no opportunity of acquiring. 

By returning to this country, you will encounter all the 
evils of a public life without any of its sweets. In England 
you will meet fewer evils, and they will be redeemed by many 
advantages. I might fill my letter with this subject, as it is 
near my heart, and you will easily believe, not without a severe 
contention, for I have many cogent reasons for wishing you to 
remain here. However, weigh the matter well before you 
decide. As to means, I will charge myself, pinched as I am, 
with a thousand or fifteen hundred pounds, to be repaid at 
your leisure if you succeed, and never if you fail. The truth 
is, I am so convinced that you will succeed, that I am ready 
to go all lengths to keep you perfectly comfortable in the 

My father left England to return to Canada in 
June 1823, reaching Toronto via New York, Albany, 
and Niagara on the 9th July. He writes as to his 
journey : 

The first part of our voyage was tedious, the winds being 
constantly adverse, but the last half of the way we had better 
fortune. The weather was exceedingly pleasant the whole 
way. We reached New York on the 19th June, having been 
thirty-two days out. 

On the Tuesday following, we continued our route to Albany 
by steamboat, and from thence travelled in a hired coach 
or hack as they call it by easy journeys of thirty-five miles 
a day to Lewistown (having sent our baggage by the canal 
to Rochester), and from thence in the American steamboat 
to Niagara. I found Sir Peregrine at Stamford, and we spent 
two days there, and then came by the Frontenac here, where we 
landed on Wednesday, the 9th instant, and found all our 
children and friends in as good health as we left them. I rode 
out the same evening to Newmarket with Charles Heward. 



ASSEMBLY (Continued) 


Renews advocacy of a Union of the British North American Provinces : 

his view*; on this suKjeet and tin- position of ( 'anada with regard to 
Knirland and the I'nited States IVter Kohin-on and the Irish 
emigrants: their excellent conduct in I.".: 1 .? (Joes to Kn^land in 
connection with proposal sale of the Clertry Re-en es to the Canada 
Company; success on this occasion -The question of the Clergy 
Reserves Let (eras to his presentation of site tor a Methodi-t church 
Religious Denominations Bill His Parliamentary lite- -Mr. Bid- 
well The Alien Bills The Family Compart 1'ro-f-ut ion* for lihel 
Employment out of Canada su^e-ted Declines ( 'hief-.fustice-hip 
of Upper Can;. da - His iva-oiis Subsequently accepts the po>t 
Vacates seat in Hou-e of Assembly-- Presentation of plate by 
elector*; of York His view of Parliamentary representation Law 
Journal as to him. 

IN the year 1824 my father became aware that the 
expediency of uniting the provinces of Upper and 
Lower Canada was again to be brought before 
Ministers in England during the recess of Parlia- 
ment. It was believed also that, at the same time, 
the question of a general union of the British North 
American Colonies, i.e. the provinces of Lower and 
Upper Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, 
might receive consideration, so he again returned to 
this latter subject in a letter to Lord Bathurst, dated 
York, Upper Canada, December 2(>, 1S'J4. 

This letter was afterwards published in London 
(in 1825) in pamphlet form, under the title, "A letter 
to the Right Honourable Earl Bathurst, K.G., on 

161 L 


the Policy of uniting the British North American 

In this letter he writes : 

It is the fear of perpetual strife from the unavoidable 
inconvenience of having the parties of French and English, 
Catholic and Protestant, so nearly balanced, that disposes me 
most to doubt the policy of uniting the provinces of Canada l 
at this period. 

My conviction is that there is a remedy 2 more certain to be 
effectual and in every way more expedient. 

I know not in what light the design of a general union of 
the British North American Colonies may have appeared to 
his Majesty's Government, if it has been submitted to con- 
sideration, as I learn it was to have been. 

So far from looking on this plan with any of the prejudices 
or wishes of a friend or an enemy of the union of the Canadas, 
it is not as a Canadian that I am impressed with a conviction 
of its importance, arid entreat for it the attention of his 
Majesty"^ Government. It is as a British subject that I feel an 
interest and an anxiety that may appear to approach too 
nearly to enthusiasm, when I anticipate its probable effects. 

And he writes to his brother Peter in this year 

(1824) : 

If they would but adopt my favourite plan of giving an 
United Legislature to the four Colonies, and leave the local 
Legislatures for unimportant purposes to each, every end might 
be attained." 

Those who then opposed the union of the British 
American Provinces, did so chiefly on the following 
grounds : 

That these provinces neither wished for it, nor 
were ripe for it ; that the scheme was, in short, pre- 

1 i.e. the provinces of Canada only, and not the whole of the British 
North American Colonies. 

2 i.e. for the evils existing in Lower Canada. 


mature, and put forward merely to divert attention 
from the pressing need of the union of the two 
Canadas alone. That Mr. Sewell's proposals of 1807 
were but a revival with modifications of a plan 
framed by Dr. Franklin in 1754 for the union of the 
old British Colonies (which subsequently became the 
United States) and were never viewed as expedient, 
or adopted. Finally, that such a union would hasten 
the day when these provinces would desire to become 
independent, and dissolve their connection with the 
mother country, and was not therefore to be encour- 
aged from an imperial point of view. 

I now give some extracts from my father's pam- 
phlet mentioned above, in which he refers to and 
replies to these objections, especially as these extracts 
allude to the origin of the great scheme for the Con- 
federation of the North American Colonies into one 
Dominion, which was happily carried out many years 
afterwards (in 1867) when the relations between Upper 
and Lower Canada had become such as to make it 
imperative. They also show his views as to the 
improbability of these Colonies ever desiring to sever 
their connection with the mother country, and as to 
their position with respect to the United States of 

Answering the objections urged, he says : 

In the actual state of these provinces there are strong con- 
curring inducements 1 to select the present time for commencing 
the great system of policy to which I could wish some voice of 
greater influence were raised to call your Lordship's attention. 
Your Lordship will not fail to perceive how strong the motive 
is with one who sincerely believes in the expediency of the 

1 These inducements are set out in the letter, but cannot be con- 
veniently given in the space of this Memoir. 


system recommended, to desire that its immediate adoption 
should take the place of a very questionable and much less 
effectual measure of policy. . . . 

It is, I trust, scarcely probable that your Lordship's atten- 
tion has been diverted from it in any degree by an idea that I 
see the anxious petitioners for the partial union have been 
most studious to inculcate; viz. that it is thrown out merely 
to draw your Lordship's attention from the other measure, and 
without any expectation that it would be adopted. 

The best answer to such a surmise is that Mr. SewelPs 
paper in its present shape was offered for consideration some 
years before any intention had been expressed of uniting the 
provinces of Canada ; and that the paper on the same subject 
which was submitted by myself, was not otherwise offered than 
in compliance with the desire of Mr. Wilmot Horton that I 
should consider Mr. SewelPs project and reduce to writing for 
his perusal whatever occurred to me respecting it. 

I wrote it with too ardent a hope that its statements might 
attract attention, and with too earnest a conviction of their 
truth, not to be desirous that it should again meet your 
Lordship's perusal while circumstances concur to call your 
attention so particularly to the political condition of these 

The people of these Colonies have expressed no opinion on 
the subject, 1 because it has in no shape been offered to their 
consideration, nor in any manner discussed or pointed out in 
the provinces, but it is a most reasonable expectation that a 
system so evidently tending to increase their respectability, 
and attended with no sacrifice of local advantage or con- 
venience, would, if offered to their consideration, be most 
favourably regarded. 

With respect to the imputation of private interests ', by 
which it has been attempted to create prejudice against the 
suggestions of a general union, your Lordship, I am sure, will 
feel that the character of the individual to whom it is 

1 i.e. the subject of the general union of all the Colonies, rather than 
a union of the two Canadas alone. 


intended such an observation should apply can alone deter- 
mine its justice. 

The plan submitted by me was certainly suggested without 
the slightest consideration of any other scheme than Mr. 
SewelFs. The objection, however (if it was meant as an 
objection), gives rise to one or two considerations which I 
cannot forbear to state. The plan of 1754 did not originate 
with Dr. Franklin, though it was commented upon by him. 
It was drawn up and offered to the consideration of the King's 
Ministers by Governor Hutchinson, whose preference of British 
to Colonial interests was unfortunately somewhat too in- 
cautiously displayed on all occasions, and whose zeal for the 
integrity of the Empire was not likely to have suffered him 
to be the proposer of a measure which would tend to dis- 
solve the connection between the mother country and her 

It is true that a plan was pressed upon the British Govern- 
ment in the year 1754 for uniting the Colonies in America 
(now the United States) ; and equally true whether it was the 
plan of Mr. Hutchinson or Dr. Franklin that it was not 

. . . The event may offer no useless lesson. Remaining 
separate Governments with separate Legislatures ; with no 
legitimate bond of union involving an acknowledged responsi- 
bility, with no occasional constitutional interchange of opinion 
and no common medium of communication with the parent 
State ; with no direct representations in the Councils of the 
Empire, these Colonies rebelled, and after an obstinate struggle, 
which added more than one hundred millions to the National 
Debt, they were lost to the Empire. 

It is at least plain that as the consequences could not have 
been more unfortunate, the rejection of Mr. Hutchinson's plan 
can afford no possible ground for congratulation. 

Then, speaking of the idea (very prevalent in 
England), that to hasten the development and pro- 
gress of the British- American Colonies, was but to 
hasten the time when they, like the older Colonies 


now forming the United States, would throw off 
their allegiance to the mother country, he adds : 

An erroneous idea of the extent and capability of Canada, 
and a disregard of its geographical position, can alone have 
occasioned such an impression. 

Provinces, however extensive, which are kept in check on 
one side by a foreign nation that must ever exceed them in 
power, and which can communicate with other countries only 
by one narrow channel, which is closed by ice for nearly half 
the year, can have no imaginable temptation to cast themselves 
loose from an Empire which supplies the security they want. 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, exposed on all their coasts to 
the navies of Great Britain, can never rise to sufficient power 
or importance to admit of their aspiring to be independent 
States. There is as little ground to imagine that they would 
ever desire to become subject to the Government of the United 
States. The disposition of their people is at present most 
decidedly adverse to the American Republic. 

A view of the map of America will show that a junction of 
physical force for any bad purpose is out of the question, and 
the union would therefore confer the security of a Legislature 
composed of persons of different tempers and politics, without 
bringing with it the risk of any combination hostile to the 

That a kingdom so situated would in time form a powerful 
check to the United States of America cannot be doubted. 

It ought to be borne in mind that, as an independent 
nation, the United States have hitherto justified no expectation 
of a kindlier feeling towards our country than may be looked 
for from other foreign Powers. On the contrary, at a moment 
when the best interests of the civilised world depended on the 
unequal contest in which Great Britain was engaged, the 
United States joined the number of her enemies, in the con- 
fident assurance that she must sink under the pressure. 1 
Happily, these efforts failed, and there appears no reason, 

1 It must be remembered tbat these words were written only nine 
years after the termination of the War of 1812-15. 








in the present state of tilings, to apprehend their being soon 


On the contrary, the most amicable relations seem to be 
maintained, with equal sincerity, by the Governments of both 

It has certainly been for many years the disposition of 

rcat Britain to avoid all cause of dissension with the United 

tales of America. If indeed an alliance so natural could be 
firmly and lastingly cemented, it would be happy for the 
interests of mankind; it would create a power which, while 
it would be competent to repress the designs of destructive 
ambition, would itself threaten no ill to the repose or the 
freedom of the world. 

Before I leave this subject, I will remark that if the 
provinces of Canada only should be united, as it is proposed, 
the preponderance of one over the other in the joint Legis- 

ture, unjustly made use of, might possibly occasion so >trong 
a dissatisfaction as to suggest a union with the neighbouring 
States as an escape from a greater evil. 

But (he continues) I am not one of those who accede 
readily to any argument of this nature, because I do not admit 
the probability of such a result. 

\Yhile in England, he actively interested himself 
various other public questions concerning Canada, 
in addition to that which formed the special object of 
his mission, and was constantly in communication 
with those holding political and legal posts in the 
Government, meeting frequently with Mr. Wilmot 
(afterwards Sir Wilmot Horton) both privately and 
at the Colonial Office. 

Among the matters to which he gave much 
attention was that of emigration to Canada, which 
his brother Peter l also had warmly taken up. The 
latter superintended the emigration of a large body 

1 IVter Robinson had much to do with the settlement of Peterborough 
in Upper Canada, which was named after him. (See chap. xi.). 


of Irish emigrants to Canada and their settlement 
there about this period. In 1824 he writes to my 
father :- 

20th September 1824. 

DEAR JOHN, I have just returned from Ireland, where I 
have been busily employed for the last six weeks making a 
selection of about 1000 persons to be sent out early in April. 
Everywhere I was received in the kindest manner possible, and 
the friends of the people I took out last year were very warm 
in their expressions of gratitude. Lord Kingston sends about 
400 persons from his estate he was civil in the extreme, and I 
breakfasted and dined daily with him during my stay in his 

I spent a week with Lord Ennismore's family near Listowel, 
at the seat of the Knight of Kerry, very pleasantly. From 
thence I went to Killarney, and had the luck to be in time for a 
famous stag-hunt, a treat that brings people from all quarters 
for a long distance. . . . Your affectionate brother, 


That these emigrants appreciated the interest he 
took in them is shown by this warm expression of it 
in an address to Lord Bathurst in 1826 : 

We take this opportunity of expressing to your Lordship 
how much of gratitude we owe to the Honourable Peter 
Robinson, our leader, our adviser, our friend, since we have 
been under his direction, and particularly for his exertions in 
administering to our comforts during a season of sickness and 

We have reason to be thankful for the wisdom and discre- 
tion which appointed over us so honourable, kind, and inde- 
fatigable a superintendent, who has used every exertion and 
care in providing for our every want. 

We trust that our orderly conduct as members of society, 
and steady loyalty as subjects of the British Crown, will evince 
the gratitude we feel for the many favours we have received. 


It may be mentioned here that Mr. William 
Lyon Mackenzie, who subsequently headed the 
Rebellion in Upper Canada, spoke thus of these 
emigrants in the Colonial Advocate of 8th December 
1825 :- 

Mr. Robinson's Irish Settlers. 

To how much more useful a purpose might o{?30,000 have 
been expended than in recruiting in Ireland for the United 

leaning apparently that these Irishmen would not 
remain contented settlers under the British Govern- 
ment, but would soon, either voluntarily or from 
political changes, come under the United States 

Events did not bear out this anticipation. At 
first there was some difficulty between them and 
other settlers, but this soon passed away, and Sir 
Francis Head, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, 
writing to Sir Wilmot Horton on 21st May 1838, 

LUS refers to the loyal and active support which, 
in the Rebellion twelve years later, they gave to the 
Government : 

These settlers were among those who at once marched 
(during the Rebellion) from the Newcastle district in the 
depths of winter, nearly one hundred miles, to support the 

On finding a bodv of the Honourable Peter Robinson's 
settlers, self assembled in line before Government House, I went 
out and thanked them, to which they replied that they were 
doing well in the world, that they felt grateful to the Govern- 
ment, and had come to fight for the British Constitution. 


And he writes in " The Emigrant " 1 that, when 
he told them they would immediately receive 
muskets and ammunition, a voice from the ranks 
exclaimed in a broad Irish brogue, " If your Honour 
will but give us arms, the rebels will find the 
legs ! " 

My father also, in alluding to their services, 
writes to Sir Wilmot Horton : 2 - 

I am glad that it occurred to you to inquire of Sir Francis 
Head what had been the conduct of the Irish settlers during 
the late unhappy tumults in Upper Canada. There was some- 
thing remarkable and most honourable in the whole bearing of 
the Irish population throughout these troubles. There were 
numerous examples of men of every origin English, Scotch, 
and natives of the province, and some who had come from the 
United States of America doing everything that could be 
done by them in defence of their country ; but I think it was 
universally felt throughout the province that the conduct of 
the Irish, as a body, was pre-eminently good. 

They seemed not only to acknowledge promptly their 
obligation to support their Government and the laws, but 
they discharged their duty with an eager forwardness, and a 
fine hearty warmth of feeling that it was really quite affecting 
to witness. 

It did honour to Ireland, and it showed that whatever may 
be the vices and errors of the Irish peasantry, hatred to their 
Sovereign and ingratitude to their Government are not among 
the number. 

You may safely entertain the persuasion that there is no 
one public object which the people of Upper Canada and the 
Legislature feel a stronger desire to promote than an extensive 

1 " The Emigrant," by Sir Francis B. Head (1846). 

2 From a pamphlet by Sir Wilmot Horton, containing his correspond- 
ence with my father upon the subject of a pamphlet entitled " Ireland 
and Canada/' published 1839. 




emigration from the mother country. It adds at once to the 
value of property in the province, furnishes employment to 

mechanics, provides labourers for the farmers, and infuses life 
and activity into every department. 

In the spring of 1825 the question of the " Clergy 
Reserves " and their disposal, which was for a long 
time a burning one in Upper Canada, took my father 
nee more to England. 

Into its nature I will enter a little further on, 
first quoting here what he himself says as to the 
period 1825-27. On this visit to England, he left 
my mother and the children in Toronto, and was 
away only a short time. 

In 1825 I went again to England to represent to the 
Government the ruinous sacrifice which would be made of the 
provision for the support of a Protestant clergy in Upper 
Canada, if the sale which the British Government proposed to 
make of the Clergy Reserves to the Canada Company should he 
allowed to go into effect. 

The Commissioners appointed to fix the price had made so 
ow an estimate of the value of all these reserves scattered 
through the several townships, that upon the terms agreed 
upon of paying for them in fifteen annual instalments, without 
interest, the price per acre would be about 2s. Id. I insi>tcd 
upon it, and offered to demonstrate before any tribunal, that 
this could not be just, and could not be warranted by any 
evidence which the Commissioners had received. 

The Secretary of State considered that he could not, in the 
face of such a statement, allow the sale to be completed as far 
as regarded the Clergy Reserves without an investigation ; and 
I was accordingly called upon to support my account of the 

A Master in Chancery, Sir Griffin Wilson, was appointed 
to hear the Commissioners, who were all then in London, on 


the one side, and me on the other, and to make his report. I 
asked for and obtained the mass of evidence on which the Com- 
missioners had professed to found their report, and I proved, 
by a minute dissection of it, that it led immediately to the 
conclusion that the reserves were worth upon an average 7s. per 

Sir Griffin Wilson determined the controversy wholly in 
my favour, and reported to the Government that they could 
not, in justice to the claimants upon the Clergy Reserve Fund, 
suffer the sale to be perfected. The consequence was that all 
the Clergy Reserves were withdrawn from the sale, and the 
Canada Company received in lieu of them an equal or perhaps 
greater quantity of land in the Huron tract, a beneficial 
exchange for the country, and I believe also for the Company. 
What has since occurred has put it beyond doubt that I was 
much within the mark in the value which I placed upon the 
Clergy Reserves. 

I thought, at the time, that this was one of the most useful 
acts of public service that I had had it in my power to perform ; 
but subsequent political measures and movements have much 
diminished its importance, and even threaten a total destruc- 
tion of the Clergy Fund, which I perhaps saved on that 
occasion to very little purpose. 

Writing from London to Dr. Strachan on 6th 
July 1825, just before his return to Canada, and 
alluding to the proposed sale of the Clergy Reserve 
lands to the Canada Company, he says : 

The Government acceded to my proposition of assigning to 
the Church such a portion of the new purchase as might be 
deemed equivalent to the 800,000 acres of Clergy Reserves. 

Mr. Horton has taken the alarm even at this late stage, 
and written a letter to the Commissioners on the part of the 
Government which must draw from them a contradiction or 
confirmation of my view of the matter. Mr. Horton declares 
if what I say is right the Government must reverse the whole 
thing and have another valuation made. I left him full of it. 



If Harvey supports me, Lord Rithurst and Mr. Ilorton will 
not incur the odium of completing such a bargain. 

My great satisfaction is that my opinion is re-corded, and its 
correctness can be verified and soon will be. Just now the 

f)cess is fermenting. It is clear to me that the Government 
1 that they have done a most unwise thing, and they feel 
o that they can take no step without incurring the reproach 
extreme improvidence in their former arrangements. 

Later on (29th January 1827) he writes thus 
*om Canada to Dr. Strachan, who was then in 
England, 1 upon the subject of these Reserves : 




The matter more important than everything else put 
together is the new mode of attack upon the Church. 2 . . . 

In England where the clergy are supported by tithes, 
hich persons of all sects have to pay, and in Ireland, win-re 
tithes are collected from the great mass of a people detesting 
e Church which they support, it is no wonder that the Est ib- 
ishment is in some quarters the subject of complaint ; but 
surely no man but a modern philosopher would for a moment 
ntend that in England and Scotland the moral state of 

iety is not to be mainly attributed to their national churches 
which, supported as they are, ensure the blessings of religious 
instruction to all classes. 

Here, the people of Upper Canada inhabit a country con- 
quered by the blood and treasure of England. The dominion 
of the soil was in the Crown by conquest. With a foresight 
most happily provident, one-seventh of that land, which was 
wholly at the King's disposal, was reserved to form a support 
for a clergy to dispense religious instruction among the people, 
and to minister to the holy services of our Church. 

Was this more than a wise and reasonable measure towards 

1 For the purpose of obtaining a Charter for the University of King's 
College, Toronto. 

3 The proposal to sell the Reserves and apply the proceeds to purposes 
of education. 


advancing the future happiness of those who were yet to 
become inhabitants of this province, and did not all come here 
with the knowledge that provision was made for supporting the 
national Church ? 

Let it but be confirmed and placed beyond the hope of 
envy and the reach of malice, and, before fifty years elapse, 
the Church will want no better defenders than the representa- 
tives of the people. 

Your university will aid us. I write this in extreme haste 
and must draw to a conclusion, but how gladly would I plead 
the cause of the Church against the attacks of those who rail 
at her. 

You must by this time have your university charter, on 
which I heartily congratulate you and myself, for my two boys 
are ripening for it. To have achieved this measure will be a 
lasting and unspeakable pleasure to you, and confer the greatest 
honour on your memory when generations have passed away. 
I cannot conceive what other service so valuable it can ever be 
in the power of an individual to make to Upper Canada. 

In connection with this question of the Clergy 
Reserves and their secularisation, which was sub- 
sequently carried into effect, 1 must explain that in 
the year 1791, when Upper Canada, of which the 
population was mainly Protestant, was first made 
into a separate province, a British statute was 
passed (31 George III., ch. 31) for the special 
purpose of making provision for the support of a 
Protestant clergy in the Canadas, as had already 
been secured to the Roman Catholic clergy in the 
old Province of Quebec by the Treaty preceding 
the surrender of Canada in 1759, and by Act of the 
British Parliament in 1774. 

In the provisions of this statute, it was declared 
to be its object "to make a permanent appropriation 
of lands in the said Provinces for the support and 


maintenance of a Protestant Clergy," and it was 
directed that "for the purpose of more effectually 
fulfilling his Majesty's intentions in this respect and 
of providing for the due execution of the same in all 
time to come," certain allotments of the Crown lands 
in Canada were to be made, and secured in the 
future. It was further laid down that the profits 
arising from such lands should "be applicable solely 
to the maintenance and support of a Protestant 
Clergy within the Province in which the same shall 
be situated, and to no other use or purpose whatever." 

Authority was also given to " constitute and 
erect within every township or parish one or more 
parsonage or rectory, or parsonages or rectories, 
according to the Establishment of the Church of 
England," and endow them with a portion of such 
otted lands. 

Power to vary or repeal the provisions of the Act 
was vested in the Canadian Legislature, subject to 
the approval of the Imperial Parliament and the 

At the time this Act was passed, the Protestant 
denominations not in communion with the Church 
of England formed a comparatively small body, and 
the opinion held by Anglican Churchmen that the 
intention of the Act was solely to provide for the 
clergy of that Church has this in support of it, that 
for some thirty years after the passing of the Act, no 
attempt whatever was made to call in question the 
exclusive right of the Church of England to the 
" Clergy Reserves." The Church of Scotland then 
put in a claim to a share of them, which was eventu- 
ally conceded to it, as being both a Protestant and 
an established Church. 



This was soon succeeded by claims from various 
denominations of dissenting but Protestant bodies, 
who were becoming more numerous in Canada. 

In November 1819, the law officers of the Crown 
in England delivered the opinion that the provisions 
of the Act did not extend to other Protestant bodies 
than the Churches of England and Scotland, " since 
the terms ' Protestant Clergy ' can apply only to the 
Protestant Clergy recognised and established by 
law." . . . The question was not, however, brought 
to any decision in Parliament, and the claims of the 
various Protestant denominations to participate in 
the Reserves continued to be persistently pressed. 

In 1831 a Bill passed the House of Assembly 
that these Reserves might be devoted to purposes of 
education, but was unanimously rejected by the 
Legislative Council, who addressed the King, pray- 
ing him and the Imperial Parliament to preserve to 
Upper Canada this permanent provision for the 
support of public worship. 

In this address, signed by my father as Speaker 
of the Council, the following paragraphs occur : 

We observe with great concern the efforts which are being 
made in this colony to inculcate the opinion that it is an 
infringement of liberty to make provision for the support of 
the Christian religion by maintaining some form of public 
worship, even though such a provision should be made (as in 
this province it has been made) without imposing a burthen 
upon any class of the people, and without subjecting to any 
civil disability those persons who profess a different faith. 

As one of the branches of the Legislature of this colony, 
we feel it to be our duty to declare our dissent from such a 
position, as being directly repugnant to principles which have 
been long and firmly established in every part of the British 
Empire, and expressly at variance with the original constitution 



of this province, and with the sacred pledge given by your 
Majesty's late royal father, when Canada became a British 

. . . Concurring in the recommendation of his Majesty, 

the Parliament of Great Britain, by the statute 31 George III. 
eh. J)l, made a provision for the support of a Protestant clergy 
in this province, in the terms of the royal message, and 
secured it bv enactments so direct and positive, and so par- 
ticular in their details, that there can be no part of the British 
Empire in which a public provision for the maintenance of reli- 
gion stands on plainer ground than in the provinces of Canada. 

In the end (in 1840) the contention as to the 
Clergy Reserves,' 1 which had been a cause of much 
agitation and bitter feeling for many years, was 
finally set at rest by the passage of a Bill through 
e Canadian Parliament, which was approved in 
England, directing their secularisation. 

I'nder its provisions, to quote from Canadian 
history : l 

The Reserves were handed over to the various municipal 
corporations for secular purposes, and a noble provision, made 
for the sustentation of religion, frittered away so as to produce 
ut very few beneficial results. 

. . . The Pormis.sorv Act of the Imperial Parliament had 
rved the life interest of incumbents. These interests were 
now commuted by the Canadian Act of Secularisation, with 
the consent of the clergymen themselves, and the foundation of 
a small permanent endowment was thus made. 

The endowment of the Church by the State was 
thus practically put an end to in Upper Canada, 
though in the Lower Province the rich possessions of 
the lloman Catholic Church, secured to them by the 
terms of the capitulation of Canada, remained and still 
remain undisturbed. 

MacMulleu's "History of Canada/' p. 



Throughout this controversy my father fought 
the battle of the Church of England to the utmost of 
his power, being both firmly convinced of her legal 
rights and an attached member of her communion ; 
but while he held the view that the religious instruc- 
tion of the people should be, on grounds both of duty 
and policy, the first care of the State, he was neither 
hostile to denominations of the Church other than 
his own, nor indisposed to give his practical aid to 
them in their efforts to do good. 

This cannot be better illustrated than by giving 
some extracts from a letter addressed by him on the 
12th April 1842 to the editor of The Church news- 
paper, in which, in an extract from the Christian 
Guardian and an editorial article, he had been held 
up to unqualified reprehension for having granted a 
site at Holland Landing to the Canada Conference 
for a Methodist Church, thus " setting an erroneous 
and pernicious example." 

After explaining that the land forming the site 
had come to him after the death of his brother Peter, 
who had in his lifetime promised it for the purpose in 
question, my father adds that even without this he 
would have been disposed to yield to the request for 
it, and says : 

It would by no means have been the first act of the kind for 
which I have to answer, nor is it very probable that it would 
have been the last. 

I do not consider the inference a just one that by acts of 
assistance of this nature to other religious societies, when 
occasion seems to call for it, I give any evidence of an impres- 
sion that " there is no material difference between the Church 
and Dissent." It argues rather, I think, a conviction which 
I do seriously entertain that there is a " material difference 



between an ignorance of all religious truths, and the being 
instructed in those truths by teachers who may differ from us 
in several points of discipline and even of doctrine, while they 
zealously and fervently inculcate the main articles of our 

In travelling through the rural portions of Lower Canada, 
the most agreeable objects in the landscape, to my eye, were 
e numerous parish churches, although they were Roman 
Catholic; and if Providence had cast my lot there among a 
French population, and the question whether they should have a 
church to worship in or not had depended upon my giving them 
a few feet of ground on which to place it, I believe I should have 
settled the question in the allinnative, not doubting that I was 
serving the cause of religion, and doing some good to my 

. . . My opinions on this subject may very possibly be 
influenced bv circumstances which are not of universal applica- 
tion, but which I think it would not become those who know 
them to leave out of account. 

Before you were born probably, and at least before you had 
heard of Canada, I was in the habit of travelling annually into 
the remotest districts of this province in the discharge of 
duties connected with the administration of justice. 

Frequently, in the most lonely parts of the wilderness, in 
townships where a clergyman of the Church of England had 
never been heard, and probably never seen, I have found the 
population assembled in some log building, earnestly engaged 
in acts of devotion, and listening to those doctrines and truths 
which are inculcated in common by most Christian denomina- 
tions, but which, if it had not been for the ministration of 
dissenting preachers, would for thirty years have been but 
little known, if at all, to the greater part of the inhabitants of 
the interior of Upper Canada. 

... I am persuaded that but for their zealous labours 
there would have been thousands and tens of thousands of our 
people who would have grown up in utter forgetfulness or 
ignorance of every Christian doctrine or duty strangers to 
any observance of the Sabbath, unmindful of the superintend- 


ing providence of God, uninitiated in any truth of the Gospel, 
and without any serious sense of their accountability in a 
future state. 

It was indeed bad enough, and is still bad enough in many 
parts of this new country, with all that has been done or could 
be done, in the absence of that effectual provision which the 
Government of the parent State could alone have supplied ; but 
if there had been no ministers in Canada but the few clergy- 
men of our Church, zealous and enlightened as they were, I 
fear it would have often happened that the obligation of an 
oath would have been imposed upon jurors and witnesses whose 
first and only acquaintance with the Scriptures would have 
commenced when the Gospels were put into their hands in a 
Court of Justice. 

I have that confidence in what I believe to be truth that 
admiration of the rational doctrines, the pure worship, the 
incomparable liturgy, the just and tolerant spirit of our 
Church that I do sincerely believe that the time will come 
when those who have separated themselves from her will gladly, 
and of their own accord, return under her shelter. 

If we could see this in our own time, I believe we should 
see the consummation of an object more desirable than all 
others for the happiness of mankind ; that, hoM r ever, we cannot 
expect. In the meanwhile I apprehend we shall not be hasten- 
ing its approach by exhibiting in our conduct or our language 
that jealous spirit which is an argument of weakness rather 
than of strength, which draws no distinction between the worst 
superstitions of paganism arid any peculiarity of doctrine and 
form which may separate from our communion the most in- 
offensive and Jealous of our Christian brethren. 

It may not inappropriately be mentioned here 
that in 1828, when the "Religious Denominations 
Bill" was before the House of Assembly in Upper 
Canada, my father, then Attorney- General, voted 
with the advanced Liberals in favour of the measure 
which had for its object to confer on all religious 


denominations the power to appoint trustees to hold 
hind in perpetuity for the purposes of meeting-ho; 
chapels, or hurial-grounds. 

There were several who opposed the measure, 
and Mr. Read 1 says with respeet to this: 

This shows that Mr. Robinson by his acts evinced his high 
regard for the early settlers of the country of whatever faith or 
political complexion. 

Between the time of my father's first election (in 
1821) as member for York (now Toronto) in the 
House of Assembly and the year 18*21), when he 
went upon the Bench, he continuously represented 
York in Parliament, being twice re-elected, and was 
very actively engaged in legal and Parliamentary 

His earlier circuits were not unfrequently made on 
horseback with saddle-bags, as the most convenient 
method of travelling over many of the country roads, 
and lie was, on account of his practice and from 
being Attorney-General, regarded as head of the 
Bar in Upper Canada. 

By early association, education, and conviction, 
he was a Conservative in politics, a strong supporter 
of the Crown and of British connection, and a firm 
advocate for the union between Church and State. 

During his Parliamentary career he was often in 
active conflict with the Liberal opposition, for he 
soon became what may be termed the leader of 
the Government (or Conservative) party ; but it is 
gratifying to know that, with but very few excep- 
tions, both opponents and friends have alike acknow- 

1 Read's " Lives of the Judges" (1888). 


ledged that he was never actuated by unworthy 

motives, was courteous to all, and free from bigotiy. 
A writer in one of the Canadian papers thus 
describes him at the time he was Attorney-General 
and in Parliament : 

And first the King's Attorney rose, 
Polite alike to friends and foes, 
Who in strict justice takes such pride 
He seems not fee'd on either side. 

His work was very hard and unremitting, and no 
doubt told subsequently upon his health. Writing 
in 1827 to Dr. Strachan, then in England, he 
says : 

Our session began on the 5th December. From that day 
to the present, I have been constantly at work. Besides the 
business of my office, always increased by the session, and the 
bringing forward and supporting every measure of Government, 
I am placed on almost every committee. Projects for im- 
provements multiply upon us, local objects exciting conflicting 
interests and feelings are to be adjusted, and I find that the 
labour generally devolves upon me of putting things in shape 
and devising the details. 

I am now on more than twenty committees, and unless by 
constant application I hasten business, the session must be 
protracted, and I must be the greatest sufferer in every respect 
by such a consequence. 

I decline nothing of this kind, because I find that it tends 
to place me on the best ground in the House but it is 
horribly fagging work. 

In some works upon Canadian history my father 
has been more or less condemned for voting in 1822, 
when Attorney-General, that Mr. Bidwell 1 should 

1 Mr. Barnabas Bidwell, who had been returned as member for 
Lennox and Addiugton. 

vii MR. BIDWELL 183 

be debarred from holding a seat in Parliament ; also 
for introducing the Alien Bills in 1824; for his 
association with what was termed " The Family 
Compact " ; and for conducting, as Attorney-Gene- 
ral, certain prosecutions for libel, deemed by some 
narrow-minded and tyrannous. 

He does not touch upon any of these matters in 
his memoranda, and I imagine considered it to be 
unnecessary ; but it may not be improper that I 
should allude to them, especially as, were I not to, 
my motive for silence might be misunderstood. In 
doing so, I shall abstain from quoting from those 
writers who have supported my father's general policy, 
as what they say might to some extent be biassed in 
his favour. 

The matters of Mr. Bidwell and the Alien Bills 
may be fittingly taken together. 

The Alien Bills, or " Bills for conferring Civil 
Rights " on certain inhabitants of the Upper Province, 
were in fact liberal in their object, and meant to 
place beyond all dispute the position in Canada of 
many who were not by law recognised as British 
subjects, as well as their power to dispose of their 

There were in Upper Canada many residents 
formerly citizens of the United States, and many 
officers and soldiers of foreign corps who had received 
grants of land and settled in the province. These 
had been allowed practically to exercise all the 
privileges of British subjects, but were not regarded 
as such by the law. 

A measure to remedy this anomaly was deemed 
necessary by the Colonial Office in the interest of 
individuals and their estates, and the legal question 


of what did, and what did not, constitute an alien 
was one of the main points involved. 

When the Bills were first introduced, a majority of 
the House of Assembly had contended that no one 
who had been born in British America before 1783 l 
could ever be regarded as an alien, and that the 
children and grandchildren of those Americans born 
before 1783 must, as the children and grandchildren 
of British subjects, be themselves British subjects. 

This contention my father from the very first had 
differed from, and the Chief-Justice of England, in an 
important case of Thomas v. Acklam, 4 D. & R. 394, 
2 B. & C. 779 (1824), had ruled in a sense completely 
opposed to it. 

This case arose upon the trial of an ejectment 
brought by one Thomas and his wife, Frances Mary 
Thomas, to recover possession of some real estate in 
Yorkshire. It was found by the jury, by a special 
verdict, that the wife had proved herself the next 
heir to the person who had died seized of the estate, 
provided she could by law inherit. 

The grandfather of Frances Mary Thomas, a 
native of England, had emigrated to New Haven, 
in the State of Connecticut, then a British colony, 
where he was appointed collector of his Majesty's 
Customs, arid died while holding that office in 1775. 

He left several children, all of whom died without 
issue except one daughter, Elizabeth. She, on the 
22nd October 1781, married James Ludlow, who was 
born in the State of New York, then one of the 
British Colonies, and remained there after the separa- 
tion of the American Colonies from the Crown. 

1 The independence of the United States was acknowledged by the 
Crown of Great Britain 3rd September 1783. 


Elizabeth Ludlmv died in the year 1700 in the 
I'nited States of America, leaving an only dauo-hter, 
Frances Mary Ludlow, born at Newport, in the 
Tinted States, 4th February 1784, who married Mr. 
Thomas in the United States in 1807, and was the 
Frances Mary Thomas, the claimant in this case. 

The question of law which, upon the special 
verdict of the jury, was left to be decided by the 
Court of King's Bench, was whether, under these 
circumstances, Frances Mary Thomas could inherit 
lands in England ; and the Chief-Justice of England, 
Abbott, C.J., delivering the judgment of the Court 
of King's Bench, before which the case was brought, 
said : 

James Ludlow, the father of Frances Mary, was undoubtedly 
born a subject of the Crown of Great Britain ; he was born in 
a part of America which was at the time of his birth a British 
colony, and parcel of the dominions of the Crown of Great 
Britain ; but upon the facts found we are of opinion that he 
was not a subject of the Crown of Great Britain at the time of 
the birth of his daughter. 

. . We are of opinion that James Ludlow had ceased to be 
a subject of the Crown of Great Britain, and became an alien 
thereto before the birth of his daughter, and consequently that 
she is also an alien, and incapable of inheriting land in England. 

Mr. Ludlow had taken no active part during 
the war, and had never abjured his allegiance to 
Great Britain. He was also a member of a family 
noted for their loyalty to the Crown, and his 
brother 1 had lost much of his property by adherence 
to the royal cause. 

1 Chief-Justice Ludlow of New Brunswick, wlio>e daughter married 
John Robinson, Speaker and Treasurer of New Brunswick, a sou of 
Colonel Beverley Robinson. 


This decision therefore bore with all the greater 
severity upon his daughter Frances Mary Thomas, 
and of itself showed that some measure in the in- 
terest of persons in an analogous situation was 
demanded as a mere act of justice. 

With respect to the case of Mr. Bidwell, he was 
very clearly an alien, as shown further on, if Mr. 
James Ludlow was one, and it was solely because 
my father as Attorney- General for the Crown held 
the opinion that he was an alien in the eye of the 
law, that he opposed his being permitted to sit in 
Parliament, and moved in the House that he was 
" an alien, and therefore incapable of being elected." 

I now quote from my father's speech in com- 
mittee on the Bill, December 5, 1825 : 

Upon the events of the war l I need not dwell. These are 
sufficiently impressed upon the recollection of us all, and I 
am happy upon this, as upon every other occasion, to bear 
testimony to the loyalty and good conduct of a very great 
portion of those people who had emigrated from the United 

It is this evidence of their general disposition which has 
doubtless made his Majesty's Government here and in England 
desirous that all apprehensions and difficulties as to their 
civil rights should be removed, and that they should hence- 
forward be assured of finding their situation in all respects the 
same as if they had been born in the province, or had come 
from any part of his Majesty's dominions. . . . 

It is evident that the first point we are called upon to 
decide is whether the different classes of persons mentioned in 
the preamble of the Bill do, in fact, stand in need of a legisla- 
tive enactment to confirm them in their possessions, and to 
give them all the rights of British subjects. 

1 Of 1812-15. 





It is impossible, Sir, for me to be in any doubt on this 
head. . . . 

With respect to our settlers from the United States v 
no longer, in justice to them, shut our eyes to the truth that 
many of them at least are subject to legal disabilities, which, 
as it is intended that they should be placed on the same foot- 
ing as the other inhabitants of the province, it is iiL-c-ossary to 
remove by some positive legislative enactment. 

We need but compare the facts as they affected the case 
of Mr. Ludlow with those which affect the political situation 
of many hundreds, and I may say indeed thousands, who are 
w in this province, to be convinced of that necessity. 

And further, in this speech he takes occasion to 
refer to the case of Mr. Bidwell, and explain the 
tion which he had taken regarding it, as follows : 

It had been proved in evidence that the member petitioned 
against (Mr. Barnabas Bidwell) was born in one of the present 
United States of America before the treaty of 1783, and while 
\\as part of the British dominions; that he resided in that 
country during the whole period of the Revolution ; that after 
the .treaty of 1783 he had remained in the United States, had 
worn allegiance to their Government, and abjured on oath 
all allegiance for ever to the Crown of Great Britain ; that he 
had held offices of great trust and confidence in the United 
States until the year 1809 or 1810, when he removed to this 
province where he had since resided, without, as it appeared, 
having complied with the provisions of any British statute 
under which he could have been naturalised. 1 

Being a member of the House of Assembly, it became my 
duty to declare my opinion on oath, and I did so, and stated 
very fully the reasons on which I had formed it. Those who, 
like myself, considered the sitting member ineligible were of 
opinion that, though born a British subject, he was not a 

1 Mr. Bidwell, after his arrival in Canada, had taken the Oath of 
Allegiance, but this was not held to confer, without the fulfilment of 
other provisions, the privileges of a natural-born British subject. 


natural-born British subject at the time of his election, which 
they conceived was intended and required by the expression 
used in the 31st of the late King . . . that the individual in 
this instance had by the most open and unequivocal acts 
declared his election to be a member of the new Republic by 
abjuring his former Government, and that he became as 
effectually an alien with respect to Great Britain as if he were 
the subject of any foreign Power in Europe. He did not claim 
or pretend to have been naturalised, but on the contrary main- 
tained that the circumstance of his birth alone entitled him, 
upon the principles of the common law of England, to be 
regarded as a British subject without the aid of any naturalis- 
ing act. 

It can be seen from what has been said above 
how much less ground Mr. Bidwell had to be viewed 
as a British subject than Mr. James Ludlow. 

It should be mentioned also that in 1823, at an 
election for the counties of Lennox and Addington, 
the returning officer had refused to receive votes for 
Mr. Marshal Spring Bidwell, the son of Mr. Barnabas 
Bidwell, on the ground that he also as well as his 
father was in the position of an alien. My father 
was in England, though, when this question was 

It is a satisfaction and pleasure to be able to 
give the following extracts from a letter, written on 
24th February 1863, by Mr. Marshal Spring Bidwell 
to my uncle, W. B. Robinson, condoling with him 
and with my mother upon my father's death. They 
tend to show that he at all events had not viewed 
my father's action as springing from any want of 
consideration, or from a loose unwarranted reading 
of the law. 

In alluding to him at the time when he was 
Attorney-General, he says : 


I remember distinctly the first time I sa\v Mr. Robinson. 
I was a stndent-at-la\v, and had gone from Bath to Toronto 
to attend the Court of King's Bench at Michaelmas term. 
His appearance was striking. His features were classically and 
singularly beautiful, his countenance was luminous with in- 
telligence and animation; his whole appearance that of a man 
of genius and a polished gentleman, equally dignified and 

Altogether his features, figure, and manners filled my 
youthful imagination with admiration, which subsequent ac- 
quaintance and opportunities to hear him at the Bar and in 
Parliament only strengthened, and which was not diminished 
by the difference between us in our views and opinions upon 
public affairs. . . . 

I heard him frequently at the Bar, and on some occasions 
I had the honour to be junior counsel with him. He was a 
consummate advocate, as well as a profound and accurate 

No one could be more faithful. He studied everv 
thoroughly, examined all the particular circumstances, and 
made hiniM-lf master of all its details. He was sincere and 
earnest in his opinions, uncompromising, frank, and fearless in 
the expression of them. 

J was pivscnt upon those occasions in Parliament which 
aroused him to great exertions. He was at all times a correct, 
interesting speaker, but upon these occasions he spoke with 
great force and effect. The fire of his eye, the animation of 
his countenance and his manner, combined with dignity, can- 
not be appreciated bv any one who did not hear him. No 
report of his speeches, no description of his manner and appear- 
ance can convey to others a just and adequate idea. 

He was an admirable Parliamentary leader. He never 
exposeil himself by an incautious speech or act, and never 
failed to detect or expose one on the other side. He never 
attempted to make a display of himself, or indulged in useless 
declamation ; but spoke earnestly and for the purpose of pro- 
ducing an immediate effect. 

He was always courteous, communicative, and obliging. 


The above words, written long after the heated 
controversies of these days were over, speak equally 
for Mr. Bidwell's heart and impartiality, and are 
much prized by my family. 

It is a little difficult to understand why these 
"famous Alien Bills," as they have been termed, 
excited so much feeling as they did in Canada. 

Some writers have considered that they were 
disliked because it was supposed that to pass them 
would be beneficial to the Conservative party, and 
the opponents of that party naturally suspected the 
cloven foot in any Liberal measure from that side of 
the House. It has been supposed also that it was 
then considered to be against public policy to offer 
encouragement to foreigners to become British sub- 
jects, although, had the initiative not been taken by 
the Conservatives, the Liberal party must have com- 
mitted itself before long to some measure of the 

Others have considered it due to the provisions of 
the Bills not being liberal enough. 

Possibly it was from a combination of these 
reasons, added to the not unnatural dislike which 
many of those who had practically exercised for 
years the privileges of subjects felt at being termed 
and having to register themselves as " aliens." 

In the words of a petition sent in against the 
Bill : " Their feelings were wounded beyond expres- 
sion at being compelled to come forward in a foreign 
character, at the peril of their utter ruin, and repeat 
that allegiance which they had frequently confirmed 
under oath and sealed with their blood." 


My father says in his speech in 1825, above 
quoted : 

It did appear to me that the suspicions of some honourable 
nu'inlKTs were excited lest under the pretence of conferring a 
benefit, some mischief might be intended. I confess that on 
discovering this, I was influenced by a feeling of indignation to 
which perhaps I ought to have been superior. 

The term "Family Compact" was but a name 
for those holding office under the Conservative 
Government of the day. 

Mr. Read, in his "Lives of the Judges," says: 
" There are not wanting writers who have laid to the 
door of the Family Compact all the sins that flesh 
was heir to in those days ; " and a recent writer upon 
Canada at this period says : 

The term " Family Compact " first applied, it seems, by 
Mackenzie in 18'33 was a sneering reference to the Bourbon 
League of the eighteenth century. 

And he thus alludes to its leaders : 

Strachan and his friends were emphatically the Tory party 
of Upper Canada. ... As became Strachan's pupils, the Tory 
leaders were keen Anglicans, and felt as much interest in the 
Clergy Reserves as in their own huge grants of wild lauds. 1 

Very possibly the name " Family Compact" was 
first applied by William Lyon Mackenzie, as here 
stated ; but I have before mentioned how my father 
did not accept such a grant of land when offered to 
him (Chapter VI. p. 150), and I have no doubt that 

1 " Self-Government in Canada and how it was Achieved (the Story of 
Lord Durham's Report) " by F. Bradshaw, B.A. (1903). 


others of the Conservative party would have acted in 
precisely the same way. 

Many incidents in my father's career show that 
neither land, nor office, nor money were ever unduly 
sought for by him, and in an allusion which he makes 
in 1854 to his family, though not in connection with 
the Family Compact, he says : 

My father, Christopher Robinson, left three sons, all of 
whom were like himself in process of time elected to the 
Assembly, my brothers for counties and I myself for Toronto. 
All have been members of the Executive Council of Upper 
Canada, two members of the Legislative Council, and all three 
have had regiments of Militia. I believe it to be quite true 
that they owed their appointments to no applications of their 
own, or of any one for them. 

My own sons have never applied, and I have never applied 
for them, to the Government for any office of any kind, and 
they none of them receive a shilling from the public revenue of 
the country in which I have served so long. 1 

I will only add to this, that if he and his 
brothers held appointments often under the Crown, 
they were also elected, some of them again and 
again, to the House of Assembly by the votes 
of the people ; and that Lord Durham himself, in 
speaking of the Compact, says in his report : 
" There is, in truth, veiy little family connection 
among the persons thus united." 

The fact seems to be that the Conservative party 
at this time was largely composed of the earlier 
settlers of Canada, or their descendants, many of 
whom were United Empire Loyalists, though it is 

1 Many years after my father's death, my brother, John Beverley 
Robinson, became Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario (1880-87). This 
was not, however, in the days of the C( Family Compact," but under 
Responsible Government. 


ii mistake to suppose that all Loyalists belonged 
to the Conservative party only. In that party 
they were most numerous, but they were to be 
found also in the ranks of their opponents. Tli 
Loyalists had been in conflict more or less with 
the United States, and sufferers from the prin- 
ciples of a republican form of government for 
upwards of a generation ; and in the events of the 
French and American Revolutions, which may be 
said to have occurred in their own time, had seen 
much of the evils which may accompany the excess 
of popular power. 

In the twentieth century, when we are far re- 
moved from these events, and when loyalty to the 
Sovereign and attachment to British institutions 
are so firmly established throughout the Empire, we 
can hardly realise what a practical matter this 
" loyalty" to the representative of the Crown was 
at this period, and what solid ground many of the 
Loyalists had to distrust those who were not known 
to be firm supporters of authority and of the prin- 
ciples which they themselves upheld. 

As my father has said of them : 1 - 

Their feelings sprang from a pure source. Their loyalty 
was sincere, for it led to the sacrifice of property, of country, of 
kindred, and friends. By some it has been ascribed to the 
influence (it would indeed be an excellent influence) of an 
imaginary "Family Compact," or what they have called 
" Oraogeum ; " by others, to an innate subserviency to power 
for sordid purposes ; to anything, in short, but the existence 
of that principle which teaches us to stand by the right 
through good report and evil report, and to cling the closer to 

1 " Canada and the Canada Bill " (1839). 



what is just and good in proportion as we see it to be 
ungenerously assailed. 

The claim of the Loyalists, of all political parties, 
to the consideration of Government rested not on 
party, but on national grounds. 

In order that it should never be forgotten, Lord 
Dorchester, an early and able Governor of Canada, 
expressed his wish, in 1789, to " put a mark of honour 
upon the families who had adhered to the unity of the 
Empire and joined the Royal Standard in America 
before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783." 

In response to this an Order in Council was passed 
at Quebec (9th November 1789) to register these 
families, 1 "to the end that their posterity may be 
discriminated," for " distinguished benefits and privi- 

This distinction, extending to the posterity of 
those it honoured, shows the light in which Govern- 
ment in 1789 regarded the Loyalist services ; 2 and 
in the War of 1812-15 these Loyalists, and their 
sons, again came prominently forward to preserve 
Canada to the Crown. 

It has been recently said : 3 

In considering British sentiment in Canada, it is well to 
remember its history. The founders of British Canada may 
fairly be called " the first of the Imperialists." 

To the "Family Compact" and Conservative party 
which 1 have described my father was proud to belong. 

1 See Appendix A., viii., as to this. 

1 The above facts explain the value attached to the letters U.E.L. by 
the descendants of the United Empire Loyalists. It is based upon the 
" mark of honour," conferred over a century ago, by an Order in 
Council, at the instance of the representative of the King. 

3 Arthur Gill, letter to the Morning Post, Sept. 29, 1903. 


On the subject of the prosecutions for libel, 
which, when in the office of Attorney-General, he 
deemed it right, or was directed by Government, to 
institute, I shall say very little, because opinions must 
often differ as to when the line is passed beyond 
which it becomes weakness and against the public 
interest, rather than magnanimous, not to take notice 
of serious accusations preferred against an official, 
and bearing upon his fitness to discharge a respon- 
sible duty. 

Of these prosecutions, that which has been most 
commented upon was the one brought by him against 
Francis Collins, editor of the l^rccman newspaper, 
instituted in 1828. Collins, a bitter journalistic 
opponent, had imputed to him as Attorney-General 
falsehood, malignity, and what was practically neglect 
of duty. He was found "guilty, 1 ' and sentenced to a 
fine of 50 and twelve months' imprisonment. 

Mr. Bradshaw ' says as to this : 

Collins was largely to blame, for he mistook Robinson's 
forbearance for timidity, and was not satisfied with a former 
narrow escape. 

And Kingsford in his History takes the same view. 2 

The offence was, in short, deliberate, and forbear- 
ance had been previously exercised in vain. 

I find from my father's papers that during 1824 
the question of whether he would like employment 
out of Canada was raised in the following letter from 
Sir Wihnot Horton, Under-Secretary for State for 
the Colonies, and Sir Peregrine Maitland seems later 

1 " Self-Government in Canada." Ai\, hy F. IJnuMiaw (1903). 

2 "History of Canada," by William Kingsford (1898). 


on to have more than once suggested that he should 
move to England ; but I find no replies to these sug- 
gestions, and even had it been practicable to secure 
for him any suitable post, which he could have 
ventured to accept, I doubt if the idea of leaving 
Canada would ever have been agreeable to him. 

From Sir Wilmot Horton. 

13th July 1824. 

I believe that I mentioned to you the possibility of inde- 
pendent Members of Council being appointed at the Cape, 
Mauritius, and Ceylon the maximum 3000, the minimum 
^2500. Would you like such a situation, and are you anxious 
to come to England (independent of Parliamentary views) to 
prosecute the law, provided you could obtain a situation of 
500 or 600 per annum ? Let me hear from you on these 

In 1825 it was proposed that he should go upon 
the Bench as Chief-Justice of Upper Canada, to 
which he thus refers : 

In October 1825 Chief- Justice Powell having applied to 
retire, the situation of Chief-Justice was offered to me by the 
Secretary of State, but I declined, because I was young, and 
had no objection to work in my profession, in which I had a 
large and increasing practice. 

I had many young children to be brought up and educated, 
and the emoluments were not such that I could venture to 
accept them, and give up my office of Attorney-General and 
my growing practice at the Bar. 

Mr. Campbell was made Chief-Justice, and having repre- 
sented to the Government the insufficiency of the salaries of the 
Chief- Justice and the other Judges for the proper support of 
the Crown Offices, these were raised. 1 

1 As to changes made in the salaries of the Bench, see chap. ix. and 
Appendix A. 


His health failing, Mr. Campbell de-sired to retire earlier 
than he subsequently actually did, when it was again propoM-d 
to me to accept the office, which I again declined. 

Not long after this, however, my father went 
upon the Bench, as explained in the next chapter, 
and upon his ceasing to be member for York, a 
number of his constituents united in procuring 
from England a valuable piece of plate, which they 
presented to him in the following year (8th July 
1830), and which bore the following inscription : 

Presented hv a number of the electors of the town of York 
to the Honourable John Reverley Robinson, their highly valued 
representative in the Provincial Legislature of Upper Canada, 
as a mark of their ad mi rat ion of the talent, zeal, and integrity 
with which, during a period of nine years, he has defended in a 
popular assembly the genuine principles of the British Con- 
stitution, and upheld the Government of his country. 

The Law Journal 1 thus alludes to his Parlia- 
mentary life, and describes, I think accurately, the 
views he held as to his obligations to his constituents 
as their elected representative : 

Sir John Robinson held the doctrine that Parliamentary 
representation was essentially different from delegation ; that 
as a representative he was neither elected to legislate for a 
particular class nor to advocate exclusive interests, nor was he 
a mere agent with defined powers, and entrusted as it were 
with proxies of the votes of his constituents, to give effect to 
limited instructions. He claimed the right of individual judg- 
ment, and that he was entrusted with discretionary powers to 
be exercised as conscience and circumstances suggested. In an 
address to his constituents (on the occasion of his last election 
for York in 1828) he thus expressed himself: 

1 Law Journal, March 1803. 


" You will do me the justice to remember that I have 
always plainly told you that there was no object I could 
propose to myself in my political career for which I would 
exchange the satisfaction I desire to enjoy at its close, in the 
reflection that I have ever moved in that path which my judg- 
ment pointed out to be the right one. Whenever it shall 
appear that this conduct disqualifies me for running the race of 
popularity, I shall cheerfully submit to the consequences.''' 

The same journal thus refers to him as a leader of 
the Conservative party : 

As a Parliamentary leader Sir John has scarcely ever been 
equalled in this colony. Amid the turmoil and excitement 
consequent upon constitutional changes, he not only kept his 
obligations to his friends, but, without pandering to their 
passions, gained the honourable estimation of even his bitterest 
opponents. The secret of his success was his sterling honesty 
of purpose and his unbending integrity in its performance. 

As a speaker Sir John Robinson had few equals. He was a 
good debater, forcible in expression, and convincing in argu- 
ment. His ability in responding to an opponent was un- 
matched. Never taken by surprise, he has been known, after 
a long and stormy debate, conducted against him by no 
mean antagonist, to rise without the slightest preparation, 
and grapple with every proposition, leaving no argument 
unanswered, or misstatement uncontradicted. 

He had great command of language. His speaking per- 
haps did not often rise to eloquence in the general acceptation 
of the term. He seldom attempted to electrify, or appeal to 
the feelings and passions of his audience; he looked upon 
eloquence and wit as weapons of a delicate nature, the use of 
which was blunted and impaired by frequent employment, but 
on the few occasions when he appealed to the loyalty of his 
followers, or repelled, in a burst of virtuous indignation, some 
ill-intentioned personal attack, he seldom failed to rally his 
friends into enthusiasm, and cover his opponents with shame 
and confusion. 




Is Chief-Justice Campbell on the l&enrh .-at on Executive 

Council State Of CuiM*. 1!U.~> to U{;>!{ Agitation tor Responsible 
(iovernment Outbreak of ( 'anadian Rebellion - Attack upon Toronto 
Trial of prisoner* - I >->t ruction of the Caroline - -- ( )utrais on 
Canadian frontier Act against foreign I 'I rial of aliens 

for treason Letter a> to con^ultinij heads of departments -Offered 
knighthood : reasons for declining it Lettei> from Sir F. Head, Sir 
A. Mac Nab, Sir (J. Colborne, and Sir (J. Arthur Their services to 
Canada, &c. 

IN 1829 ill-health compelled Chief-Justice Campbell 
to retire, 1 and the vacancy of Chief-Justice of Upper 
Canada was for the third time offered to my father, 
who accepted it, his commission being dated 13th 
July 1829. He gives the following reasons for now 
deciding to go upon the Bench : 

On this last occasion I had some scruple about standing 
longer in the way of the promotion, which is naturally looked 
for among members of the Bar, and I was apprehensive that, 
by the appointment of some person from England not older 
than myself, I might be shut out from the judicial office when 
circumstances might lead me to desire it. 

From this time, throughout his life, his duties 
were mainly judicial, although under the colonial 
system of the day he continued for a few years to 
take a part in political life as President of the Execu- 
tive and Speaker of the Legislative Council. 

1 After his retirement ho was knighted (the first Canadian judge to be 
so), and became Sir William Campbell. 


These posts were filled ex officio by the Chief- 
Justice, until the union of the Canadas in 1841, when 
the occupants of the Bench ceased to hold any 
political office. 

My father, however, resigned the Presidency of 
the Executive Council about 1832, it having been 
intimated to him that, as a matter of Government 
policy, it would be agreeable were he himself to take 
that step a suggestion he complied with at once; and 
he never actually sat in the Legislative Council after 
1838, from which date until 1840 he was in England. 

As a consequence, he was not present in the 
Legislative Council in 1839 during the debates upon 
the Union Bill of that year, though he published in 
England his views with respect to the Bill, which are 
given fully in succeeding chapters. 

I have some reason to think that his active 
opposition to this Bill, which was afterwards with- 
drawn, and differed in many points from that passed 
in 1840, added to the fact that he had been in earlier 
years Conservative leader in the House of Assembly, 
have created among many an impression that he took 
a greater personal share in politics when on the Bench 
and also in the Legislative Council, i.e. between 1829 
and 1840, than in reality he did. 

The journals of the Council during this period 
show that he was regular in his attendance as its 
Speaker; but there is neither in them nor in the 
references made to him in those newspapers of the 
time which I have consulted, anything to indicate 
that, after he had ceased to sit in the House of 
Assembly and Executive Council, he ever, with the 
exception I have alluded to in 1839, concerned him- 
self very specially with political matters. 


It may be added also that the duties of " Speaker," 
or presiding officer, are incompatible with taking any 
active part in debate. 

He must, of course, as official head of the Council, 
have given his advice, when asked for, to the repre- 
sentative of the Crown ; and from his long experience 
of Canada he was no doubt often consulted : but in a 
letter, from which I quote further on in this chapter, 
to Sir George Arthur, it is to be gathered that his 
wish was to be referred to only so far as was clearly 
called for in the position which he held. 

To his work as a legislator, in the general 
rather than political sense, the Lmc Journal 1 thus 
alludes : 

The fruits of Sir John Robinson's life as a legislator are to 
be found in the pages of our statutes. Several of our most 
important Acts were framed by his own hand. They bear 
evidence to his great legislative ability and to his clear percep- 
tion of an existing evil or defect, and the remedy most fitted 

remove it. They show his strong attachment to monarchical 
institutions, his intention to preserve the relations of the 
province with the Empire, and they are further characterised 
by that close approximation to those British institutions which 
have so long been our pride and our boast. 

The period during which he was in the Legislative 
Council was one of much political unrest in Canada. 
The struggle for " Responsible Government," and 
afterwards the Canadian Rebellion, disturbed the 
country during these years, and were the most im- 
portant events to which I need refer ; but it may 
be said in addition that throughout the whole of 
his association with politics, from 1821 (when, 
shortly after the war, he entered the Lower House), 

1 Law Journal of r\>per Canada, March 18(>;3. 


Canada was at periods in a more or less agitated and 
unsettled condition. 

To justly estimate the policy of the Conservative 
party to which he belonged, and its attitude towards 
the party of Reform, during the years when Canada 
may be said to have been passing from youth to 
manhood, it is necessary to understand something 
of the then circumstances of the country ; but while 
I must, for this reason, briefly allude to them, I will 
confine myself, as I have occasionally done before, 
to what has been written by those who, in their 
general views, are certainly not partisans of the 
Conservative policy of those days. 

Mr. MacMullen writes : l 

The War (of 1812-15) which, in one way or another, drew 
almost the entire male population of Upper Canada into its 
vortex, had of itself completely unsettled the habits of the 
people by its novelty and excitement; and the absence of 
these mental stimulants, aside from the greater scarcity of 
money, produced a very general irritation. . . . This naturally 
found vent against whatever were deemed abuses, and formed 
the microscopic medium through which the injuries they 
entailed, whether real or fanciful, were regarded. 

Then Mr. Robert Gourlay came to the country, 
" distinguished for a litigious and dissatisfied, though 
benevolent disposition . . . energetic, restless, ambi- 
tious . . . indefatigable in hunting up abuses."' 

Then William Lyon Mackenzie, a future leader 
in the Rebellion, commenced a course of violent 
attacks upon the Government, declaring that he 

1 MacMullen's " History of Canada," p. 339. 

2 Ibid., p. 341. Mr. Gourlay subsequently became insane, and was 
imprisoned in England for striking Lord Brougham, a distinguished 
advocate of Reform, in the lobby of the House of Commons. 

vni STATE OF CANADA, 1815-1840 203 

would rather work for his bread than k - submit to the 
official fungi of the country, more numerous and 
pestilential than the marshes and quagmires that 
encircle Toronto." 1 

To this was added the struggle for Responsible 
Government, and the whole culminated in the 
Rebellion, which, while like a storm it eventually 
cleared the air, was only put down after some 
bloodshed, and, together with the contests over the 
Union Bill, left the country politically unsettled for 
a time. 

It was in the year in which my father went upon 
the Bench (1829) that the question of "Responsible 
(Government" is said to have "first loomed distinctly 
on the public view as the great panacea for Canada's 
many evils ; H| and the agitation for the principle it 
involved, which was that the Executive should be 
responsible to the representatives of the people and 
not merely to the Crown, was carried on after he had 
ceased to be a member of the House of Assembly. 

He is said by some to have been opposed, when in 
the Legislative Council, to the principle of " Respon- 
sible Government " in the Colonies. It would be 
more correct, I believe, to say that he did not 
consider that in the interests of the Crown and 
British connection it could be prudently introduced 
into Canada at the time its concession was being so 
vehemently demanded, and under the then condition 
of the country. 

In this he may have been wrong, or he may have 
been right, but the events of the Rebellion proved 
that there were many in that political party which 

1 MacMullen's " History of Canada," p. 360. - Ibid., p. 370. 


was demanding a larger measure of popular control, 
who under the name of " Reform " were aiming at 
something essentially different; they desired a Re- 
publican form of Government, and could not be 
controlled by the more moderate of that party. 

It is true that many of the latter had no sympathy 
with these extremists, who eventually lost weight, but 
while my father was in Parliamentary life there was 
ground to view with great apprehension the intro- 
duction of any measure, such as Responsible Govern- 
ment, which would tend to increase their number, 
and therefore power, in the Legislature. 

In the Lower Province, Mr. Papineau, Speaker 
of the House of Assembly, who had been twice 
elected to that office, had, in 1835, spoken thus in 
the House: 1 

The time has gone by when Europe could give Monarchies 
to America; on the contrary, an epoch is now approaching 
when America will give Republics to Europe. 

Other members had used somewhat similar lan- 
guage ; and Mr. Kingsford relates 2 how, in March 
1836, Mr. Barnabas Bidwell, Speaker of the House 
of Assembly of Upper Canada, laid on the table of 
the House a letter from Mr. Papineau, Speaker of 
the House of Assembly of Lower Canada, forward- 
ing certain Resolutions of that body, and containing 
these words : 

The state of society all over Continental America requires 
that the forms of its Government ^should approximate nearer 
to that selected, under propitious circumstances, and after 

1 MacMullen's ' ' History of Canada/' p. 396. Mr. Papineau became a 
leading instigator of the Rebellion in 1837. 

2 "History of Canada," by William Kingsford (1898), V9l. x. p. 356. 



mature consideration, by the wise statesmen of the neighbour- 
ing Union. 

Mr. MacMullen writes 1 that up to the year 1826 
fully one-third of the Reform party consisted of 
emigrants from the United States, who " considered 
that a Monarchical form of Government must be 
necessarily arbitrary ; regarded Republican institu- 
tions as the only liberal ones, and desired to see them 
established in Canada." 

And Mr. F. Bradshaw 2 also writes : 

The Radical opposition (i.e. the extreme section of the 
Reform party), from the time of Willcocks :i to that of Kidwell, 
consisted of United Irishmen and Americans, with a preference 
for Republican institutions. . . . Many of the reformers in Par- 
liament (in Upper Canada) held extreme views, among whom 
was Dr. Duncombe, afterwards a rebel leader. 

Responsible Government, which was introduced 
into Canada in 1841, after the Rebellion had been 
crushed, has, in the years which have since elapsed, 
been of great advantage to the country ; but in con- 
sidering whether it could have been wisely adopted 
t an earlier period than it was, it must not be 
forgotten that after the Rebellion the political situa- 
tion had changed, the plans of the rebel leaders and 
sympathisers been defeated, as well as their influence 
lessened, and that the dangerous agitations along the 
frontier adjoining the American Republic had prac- 
tically ceased. 

1 " History of Canada," p. :i7 J. 

1 "Self-Government in Canada." pp. l-jil, ^7>. 

3 See p. 55, chap. iii. Sheriff \Villeoeks was an ex-Tinted Irishman 
who was elected to the House of Assembly of Upper Canada. He joined 
the enemy in the war, and was killed at Fort Erie in 1814, being then a 
colonel in the American army. Mr. Bidwell was one of the Reform 
leaders in 1837. 


If a dispassionate and full political history of the 
Conservative party in Canada between 1815 and 1840 
ever comes to be written, it will be found, I think, 
that the restraining influence of that party in critical 
years contributed much, under the circumstances 
which then prevailed, to the highest interests of 
Canada. With regard to my father, he was far too 
great an admirer of the British constitutional system 
ever to have wished to keep Canada for an indefinite 
period without as full a measure of liberty as was 
enjoyed in England ; but he has not dwelt upon 
this subject in his papers, and I have never heard 
him speak of it, as he scarcely ever alluded to politics 
at home. 

In chapter ix. will be found his view of the 
political system which now practically prevails in 
the self-governing Colonies, written when the policy 
of making them responsible for their own defence, 
introduced about 1862, was under consideration. 

To turn more especially to the origin and occur- 
rences of the Rebellion, much has been written 
about its causes from various standpoints, which 1 
cannot here enlarge upon ; but it may be said that 
they were not identical in Upper and Lower (or 
French) Canada, the inhabitants of which two pro- 
vinces, taken as a body, differed from each other in 
many circumstances a difference which made re- 
bellion against the Sovereign more excusable in the 
latter (which had been under the French Crown until 
1759) than in the former. 

With the affairs of Lower Canada my father had 
no connection, and with regard to the rising in 
Upper Canada, his share in the events which fol- 
lowed it was confined to turning out, with many 


others in Toronto, to repel an unsuccessful attempt 
to surprise the town ; to having to preside at the 
trial of certain prisoners concerned in the Rebellion ; 
and to deal with legal questions arising out of the 
disturbed condition of the country, and more par- 
ticularly out of the invasion of Canadian territory by 
sympathisers with the Rebellion from the United 

Some have attempted to palliate, if not justify, 
the abortive rising in the Upper Province, which was 
confined in its extent, and of no very general or for- 
midable character, by ascribing it to the tyranny and 
selfishness of the Canadian officials of a Government 
which it was in the interests of freedom to overthrow ; 
but grounds for treason and armed rebellion, with 
the bloodshed and loss of life which they were sure 
to entail, cannot be said to have been existent in 

It has been well pointed out that 

Trial by Jury existed, the law of Habeas Corpus protected 
personal rights, and the levying of internal taxation was vested 
in the local Parliament. 1 

Some grievances there may have been. In cer- 
tain parts of the country officials might possibly have 
been inclined to be autocratic in manner or in act ; 
and the time had probably come when the old 
method of governing the country from the Colonial 
Office was unsuited to the circumstances of Canada, 
no matter how able and high-minded those might 
be to whose duty it fell to administer it. It 
is probably true that the real discontent, which was 
naturally worked upon by agitators, dissatisfied either 

1 Mac-Mullen's " History of Canada/' p. 408. 


with their position, or the form of government, or 
their share in it, arose, as has been said, 1 both in Upper 
and Lower Canada, "from economic as opposed to 
political troubles in Upper Canada from the back- 
ward condition of the country, which in turn was due 
to want of capital and* population, and to the exist- 
ence of a quantity of ' dead land,' which obstructed 
all improvement." 

It is certain that the mass of Upper Canadians 
had no sympathy whatever with the Rebellion ; 
and that, for one who aided it, numbers turned out 
to put it down. 

Mr. Kingsford writes : 

Except with some of the leaders of the Reform Party, 
there was no sympathy with the political attitude assumed in 
the Lower Province. 2 

It is doubtful also if it did not retard more than 
advance the more beneficial of those political changes 
which were afterwards introduced; but as to the 
effects which would have accompanied its success 
I can say nothing which could bear with as much 
weight as that which has been already said by one 
of its leaders, Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie himself 
(who years afterwards died in Canada), in a letter 
written 3rd February, 1849, 3 to Earl Grey, Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, of which the following is 
an extract : 

A course of careful observation^ during the last eleven years 
has fully satisfied me that had the violent movement in which 
I and many others were engaged on both sides of the Niagara 

1 " Self-Government in Canada," by F. Bradshaw, p. 277. 

2 Kingsford's " History of Canada," vol. x. p. 357. 

3 " Lite and Times of William Lyon Mackenzie/' by C. Lindsey (1862), 
p. 291. "The Story of my Life," by the Rev. Egerton Ryerson (1884), 


proved successful, that success would have deoplv injured the 
people of Canada, whom I then believed I \\;is serving at ^rcat 
risks. ... I have long been sensible of the errors committed 
during that period. . . . No punishment that power could 
inHict, or nature sustain, could have equalled the regrets I have 
felt on account of much that I did, said, wrote, and published ; 
but the past cannot be recalled. . . . There is not a living 
man on the Continent who more sincerely desires that British 
Government in Canada may long continue. 

With regard to the events of the Rebellion in 
Upper Canada, it is enough to say that, in December 
1837, when the regular troops had been entirely 
withdrawn from the Upper Province to suppress the 
insurrection in the Lower, an attempt, headed by 
William Lyon Mackenzie, who, with others, had 
fomented a rising near Toronto, was made to gain 
possession of that town, which was the scat of Govern- 
ment, and to seize the Government buildings. 

No doubt several who took part in this had be- 
come convinced that they were patriots, while others 
joined from motives not so creditable. 

When at night, on the 6th of December, the alarm 
bells summoned the loyal inhabitants of Toronto to 
repair to the City Hall, where two guns had been 
placed, and some arms and ammunition stored, my 
father turned out with the rest, and Sir Francis 
Head, 1 Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada at this 
time, thus alludes to him l : 

were of course a motley group. I had a short double- 
barrelled gun in my belt and another on niv shoulder. The 
Chief-Justice had about thirty rounds of ball cartridge in his 
cartouch, and the rest of the party were equally well armed. 

1 "The Emigrant," p. 170, by Sir Francis Head, who was Lieutenant- 
Goveruor of Upper Canada, January 183G to March 1837. 



I find the memorandum from which I quote 
below among my father's papers, written upon the 
day on which this attempt was repulsed : 

Thursday, 7th December 1837. 

The loyal feeling of her Majesty's true subjects has been 
nobly displayed to-day, and the result promises peace and 
happiness to Upper Canada for years to come. 

For some weeks past reports had been brought to Toronto 
from the settlements about Newmarket and along Yonge Street, 
that there were people training by hundreds under certain 
leaders who have been long known as disaffected and seditious, 
but who were not supposed to be so desperate and daring as 
to rise in open rebellion against their Sovereign. 

The loyal inhabitants in the neighbourhood of these 
armed meetings were much alarmed, and so many accounts 
arrived of an intended attack upon Toronto that serious 
anxiety was felt by the inhabitants of the city as well as of 
the country. 

The Lieutenant-Governor looked upon these meetings of 
the rebels as an effort to deter him from sending away the 
troops to the assistance of our fellow-subjects in Lower 
Canada, where thousands of French Canadians are in arms. 
But on Sunday last such particular reports were received 
of an intended attack, and so much alarm was felt in several 
parts of the country, that he addressed an order to the different 
militia regiments calling upon them to hold themselves ready 
for duty upon any emergency arising either here or in Lower 

This order was ready for distribution on Monday, and 
the mayor and citizens of Toronto, aided by the zealous 
exertions of Colonels Fitzgibbon and Stanton, had made some 
arrangements for guarding the Bank, the City Hall, and such 
points as were likely to be assailed. About midnight on the 
4th December, the town bells rang an alarm, and the citizens 
hastily collected at the City Hall, where arms and ammuni- 
tion were delivered to them. His Excellency, Sir Francis 
Head, came down promptly, and placed himself among the 


assembled inhabitants, armed like them and ready to resist the 
threatened attack. 

It was uncertain to what extent the treason might have 
spread, and how many men might have been deluded to join 
in the attempt. A call was therefore sent by express upon 
the militia of the adjoining districts to require their aid. On 
Monday evening sonic hundreds of armed rebels had pa 
down Yonge Street; some were on horseback and others on 
foot. They were in general armed with American rifles, 
and many of them with pikes and spears. It was not doubted 
that their intention was to make some attack on the town, and 
several loval inhabitants who had seen them pass resolved to 
make the best of their way into Toronto, to give notice of their 
approach, and assist in repelling them. 

Captain Stewart, and Colonel Moodie formerly of his 
Majesty's 104-th Regiment, were of this small party. Captain 
Stewart was made prisoner, and remained so till relieved by 
the advance of the militia under Sir Francis Head. 

Colonel Moodie endeavoured to make good his way, but 
was shot down hy a discharge from several rifles upon the 
word of command given by one of the leaders; and thus was 
this gallant veteran, who had fought for his country in many 
battles, 1 shot on the Queen's highway. Two or three of the 
party succeeded in getting in, having been fired upon, but 
fortunately not hit. 

When the rebels came to within a mile or two of the town 
they met several of those who hail volunteered their services 
to ride up Yonge Street, and gain intelligence of their move- 
ments. Some of these they took prisoners, and among them 
John Powell, Esq., who, upon attempting to escape was shot 
at, but without effect. He succeeded in getting into the town, 
and the accounts received from him and from other quarters led 
to the expectation of an immediate attack, which every possible 
effort was made to meet. 

When daylight came, the rebels were seen, in a large body, 

1 Colonel Moodie had served in the Peninsular War' and in that of 


near the first toll-gate on Yonge Street, and it was reported 
that they were hourly receiving large accessions to their force. 

In the meantime hundreds of loyal persons flocked to the 
garrison and to the City Hall to receive arms and ammunition, 
and to join in the defence of the place. The very best spirit 
was shown. 

During the next day the brave and loyal militia of the 
country came in numbers to offer their services. 

My father's account ends here, but the defeat 
of the insurgents, on the day on which it was written 
(Thursday, December 7, 1837), at Montgomery's 
Tavern on Yonge Street, by the force under Sir 
F. Head, with whom were Sir Allan (then Colonel) 
MacNab, Colonel Fitzgibbon and others, is a well- 
known incident in the history of Upper Canada. 

During the alarm in Toronto, my mother with 
her younger children, of whom I was one, was placed 
with other ladies and children upon a steamer in 
the bay. 1 

My father bears decided testimony to the value 
of the service rendered by Colonel Fitzgibbon upon 
this occasion ; and in writing from Brighton, on the 
14th August 1839, to Bishop Strachan says, in a letter 
of which a copy was afterwards forwarded to the 
Colonial Office : 

With regard to his (Colonel FitzgibbonY) services in Decem- 
ber 1837, I have no doubt (and I should be happy to state this 
on every occasion when it could be useful to him) that his 
earnest conviction before the outbreak that violence would be 
attempted, and the measures of precaution which he spon- 
taneously took in consequence of that impression, were the 
means of saving the Government and the loyal inhabitants of 
Toronto from being, for a time at least, at the mercy of the 
rebels; and I believe that the most disastrous consequences 

1 See Appendix A., VII. 


would have followed the surprise which Colonel Fitzgibbon's 
vigilmce prevented. His conduct, also, when the crisis did 
OCCIT, was most meritorious. 1 

It fell to my father's lot, in the course of his 
duty as Chief- Justice, to try at Toronto (on the 8th 
March 1838) two prisoners upon the charge of 
treason ; and, with reference to the extreme penalty 
of the law having been carried out in the case of 
these- men who had taken a leading part in the 
rebellion, the Law Journal of Upper Canada says : 2 

It has been asserted that the Government were in receipt 
of a despatch from England forbidding capital punishment 
f>r political olK-mvs without the approval and sanction of 
tie Imperial authorities, but, like many other charges made 
inder similar circumstances, we believe this to be quite in- 
/apaMe of proof, and altogether contrary to fact, and that, 
in truth, no such despatch was known to, or received by, the 

So clear is the memory of the Chief-Justice from the im- 
putation of having advised the Lieutenant-Governor to carry 
out the extreme penalty of the law, that he had ceased for 
some time previously to be a member of the Executive Council. 

In passing sentence on the prisoners he very properly dwelt 
upon the enormity of their crime, but his remarks were im- 
bued with compassionate and sorrowful feeling, and a gentle- 
man in Court at the time has remarked that after the 
prisoners had pleaded "Guilty 1 " and the sentence of death 
was passed upon them, of the three individuals concerned, the 
Chief- Justice was most certainly the most painfully affected. 

It is only because the assertions alluded to by the 
Law Journal have been made, that I am not silent 
on this subject altogether. 

1 Colonel Fitzgibbon had also performed distinguished services in the 
War of 181 -J !.->. 

" Law Journal of March 1863. 


The prisoners pleaded " Guilty," so that no evi- 
dence was taken at their trial, and in reporting to the 
Lieutenant - Governor their convictions, my father 
refers him, for the circumstances of their cases, to the 
Crown officer, and the commissioners who had in- 
vestigated the charges. 

He had certainly resigned his seat on the Execu- 
tive Council some years before ; and if consulted as 
to the sentence, as he very possibly was, it may be 
assumed to have been in his capacity of Chief- Justice, 
and solely as to the legal aspects of the case. There 
were few, I am convinced, who regretted more than, 
he did that these misguided men had placed them- 
selves in the position they had. 

In his charge to the Grand Jury he pointed out. 
that though " our laws inculcate no doctrine so x 
slavish as the necessity of absolute submission to 
every degree of tyranny that a Government can ex- 
ercise," no tyranny existed in Canada which could 
be held to justify armed rebellion against the 

At this point, in order to make more clear certain 
references by my father to the further events of the 
Rebellion given by me in later chapters I may say 
that throughout December 1837 and during 1838, 
the country was in a very disturbed condition, insur- 
rection and bloodshed occurring in more than one 

William Lyon Mackenzie escaped to Buffalo in 
the United States ; and from thence the " Patriots," 
as they were termed, took possession, in December 
1837, of Navy Island (belonging to Canada) about 
two miles above the Falls of Niagara, established a 


provisional government there, and threatened an in- 
vasion of the main shore of Canada. 

On 13th December Mackenzie issued a pro- 
clamation, in which occur these words : 

Compare the great and flourishing United States with our 
divided and distracted land; and think what we also might 
h.ivr hern as brave independent lords of the soil. Leave then 
Sir 1-Yancis Head's defence to the miserable serfs dependent on 
hi> bounty. 

Sir Allan (then Colonel) MacNab was sent with 
a body of militia to Chippewu, opposite Navy Island, 
to watch and oppose the rebels. 

Under his orders, on 29th December 1837, Cap- 
tain A. Drew, a commander in the Royal Navy who 
had settled in Canada, with a party of volunteers, 
very gallantly surprised and cut out from under Fort 
Schlosser, on the American side of the river Niagara, 
the steamer Ca?-o/hu\ which was being used by the 
Patriots to convey guns, men, and supplies to Navy 
Island, and sent her, in flames, to drift toward the 
Falls. These volunteers consisted of Mr. Harris, 
R.N., Lieutenant McCormick, R.N., and men accus- 
tomed to boats. The boats were five in number, 
according to Captain Drew's official report, contain- 
ing about nine men each (forty-five in all). During 
the crossing they were, at one time, not more than 
half a mile above the Falls. 

This was an extremely hazardous enterprise, if 
only on account of the certainty there was that the 
boats conveying the party, if the oars or gear were 
damaged by accident, or by shot, would be swept by 
the strong current and the rapids over the Falls. 
But the service was carried out with skill and resolu- 


tion, the surprise was complete, and the object was 
in consequence attained with a very small loss of life 
in boarding the vessel. 

The burning of the Caroline caused great ex- 
citement and indignation in the United States, and 
threatened to lead to a war, for though the American 
Government had in no way officially recognised the 
" Patriots," the vessel was an American one, was on 
the American side of the river Niagara, and flying 
the American flag. 1 

The destruction of this steamer was declared by 
Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons to have 
been, under the circumstances, a proceeding perfectly 
justifiable, but the matter was the subject of corres- 
pondence for nearly five years between the British and 
American Governments, and was only finally closed 
in 1842, when an expression of regret was tendered 
by the former that some explanation of, and apology 
for, the act had not been offered at the time it 

On the 14th January 1838 the "Patriots" were 
compelled to evacuate Navy Island by the fire of 
guns brought to bear upon them from the Canadian 
side of the river. 

During 1838 secret Patriot associations, called 
" Hunters' Lodges," were organised in every direction 
along the American frontier, their object being to 
revolutionise, and, as it was termed, "liberate" Canada, 
and the feeling between Great Britain and the United 

1 This flag was subsequently presented by Captain (afterwards Admiral) 
Drew to the Royal United Service Institution in London, by which body 
it has since been transferred to the Public Library, Toronto, Canada. 
The Assembly of Upper Canada passed a vote of thanks to Sir Allan Mac- 
Nab and Captain Drew, and presented each of them with a sword for their 
conduct in the Rebellion. 


States became very strained, owing to the destruction 
of the Caroline and disputes with respect to the 
" Maine boundary." 

Armed bodies of filibusters under Sutherland, 
Dodge, Theller, and others invaded Canada along 
the Detroit frontier. 

The Canadian islands of Bois Blanc and Point 
Pelt* were occupied, and advances upon Windsor, 
Amherstburg, and Sandwich took place. 

A band under a man named Johnson seized and 
burnt the steamer Sir Robert Peel on the St. Law- 
rence, and committed depredations at Amherst Island. 

A descent, under a Polish adventurer named Von 
Schultz, was made upon Prescot on the St. Lawrence, 
and a raid under Morreau, as its leader, took place 
across the Niagara frontier. 

Many outrages were committed along the borders 
of Canada and the United States ; the families and 
property of loyal Canadians and other British subjects 
along the extended frontier line were continually 
exposed to acts of violence and intimidation, and 
a general sense of insecurity and danger prevailed 
throughout the country. 

On every occasion, however, the incursions of the 
so-called " Patriots " ended in repulse though in 
most cases only after some bloodshed and by the 
close of 1838 the Rebellion had been entirely put 
down, and the gaols in Canada were full of prisoners. 

My father's two eldest sons, Lukin and John, 
served in its suppression, Lukin with the militia 
under Sir Allan MacNab opposite Navy Island, and 
John 1 at the defeat of the rebels near Toronto. 

1 John Beverley Robinson, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, 


A.D.C. to Sir Francis Head, for whom he afterwards 
carried despatches to Washington. 

Measures were adopted in Canada upon the out- 
break of the Rebellion, and questions arose in con- 
nection with these measures more especially as to 
" aliens " (i.e. Americans and other foreigners) made 
prisoners in the Rebellion which gave rise to some 
debates in Parliament in England, and to protracted 
correspondence with the Home Government. 

The Legislature in Upper Canada considered that 
the most effective way to meet the special dangers 
which had to be faced at this time viz., the union of 
numbers of American citizens and adventurers from 
the United States with disaffected British subjects in 
an attempt to revolutionise the country, and the 
chance that the excited state of feeling upon both 
sides of the border might be stirred up until it 
brought about a war was to pass a special Act, 
which was assented to by the Lieutenant-Governor 
on the 12th January 1838. 

This was entitled "An Act to protect the in- 
habitants of this province against lawless aggression 
from subjects of foreign countries at peace with her 

By its provisions, foreigners invading the country 
without the authority of their Government, and all 
British subjects joining with or aiding them, were 
made liable to trial before special military tribunals 
(courts-martial) constituted by the express authority 
of the Legislature, and to be sentenced, upon con- 
viction, to death, or such other punishment as the 
court might award. 

The Act left, however, to the Executive Govern- 


ment the alternative of waiving, when it might think 
fit, the trial hy court-martial, and prosecuting the 
offender by ordinary law. 

The Legislature preferred this course to that of 
proclaiming martial law generally, because, while it 
drew very prominently the attention of all disaffected 
British subjects and foreigners across the border to 
the peril they would run of prompt trial by court- 
martiiil for aiding the Rebellion, it left the ordinary 
law of the country in full force for all other purposes, 
and would probably be less likely to excite hostile 
feeling in the United States than the summary pro- 
ceedings which might in some cases possibly take 
place were the law of the land generally superseded 
by the law-martial. 

It was well understood in passing it that Ameri- 
can citizens and other aliens, who by residence 
in Canada or otherwise had incurred obligations of 
allegiance to the Crown, and also all British subjects, 
were liable, should they endeavour to upset the 
Government of the Queen, to be tried before the 
ordinary courts of law for high treason ; but in the 
case of those aliens, who, without having previously 
incurred any such obligation of allegiance, entered 
the country to aid in a revolt, it was held that they 
could not properly be so tried, i.e. arraigned and 
made liable to capital punishment for violating an 
allegiance which they had never acknowledged. 

My father, with reference to this Act, says : 

It was not passed without a consciousness that possibly a 
difficulty might be felt in England as to allowing it to remain 
in force ; but the very existence of the Government required 
this responsibility to be assumed, and confidence was felt that 
her Majesty's Government would incline strongly to uphold a 


measure just and even humane in itself, and prompted by the 
strongest sense of duty to the Crown and to a faithful and 
loyal people. 

The Government in England, acting upon the 
advice of the law officers of the Crown, were dis- 
posed to disallow this Act, not on the ground of 
illegality, for it was admitted not to be inconsistent 
with international law, and that it was within the 
competence of the Colonial Legislature to pass it, 
but because it was deemed that it was not properly 
framed, that its provisions were calculated to produce 
certain difficulties, and that, if it was considered ex- 
pedient to authorise the trial by court-martial, instead 
of ordinary courts, of parties charged with high 
treason committed in the province, this ought to 
be done by an Act not directed so specially against 
foreigners, but equally against all persons foreigners, 
natives of the country, and others. 

It was contended also (in opposition to the view 
which had been taken by the law officers of the 
Crown in Canada) that all aliens, subjects of a 
friendly power, invading her Majesty's territory to 
upset her Government, whether they had previously 
incurred any obligations of allegiance or not, could be 
legally and properly tried by the ordinary courts for 
" high treason," they having none of the rights which 
could be claimed by alien enemies, but being alien 
" amys," i.e. subjects of a friendly Power at peace 
with the Queen, and as such owing her allegiance 
directly they entered her dominions. 

Lord Brougham, in some remarks made in the 
House of Lords, condemned as absurd an opinion 
supposed (in error) to have been given by the 


Attorney-General in Canada as to the trial of aliens 
for treason. 

With respect to this, Lord Lyiidliurst had shown 
to Lord Brougham some rough memoranda my 
father had placed in his hands, and writes thus to 
the latter in 1839 as to them: 

The historical facts and the authorities which you have 
collected, with the observations you made upon them, are so 
interesting, that I very much wish, if you have sufficient 
leisure, you would put them in writing, that the whole question 
may be carefully and fully considered. 

He also enclosed in this letter one from Lord 
Brougham to himself, in which the latter says : 

I return the Chief- Justice's paper, which I have only just 
got and read over hastily. 

What I said was " too absurd to require a serious answer"" 1 
was by no means the doubtful and difficult question here 
discussed; but that an alien cannot commit treason, and is 
an outlaw, and to be therefore shot summarily. However, I 
differ with the Chief- Justice, on the whole. 

Whatever the merits of the legal points involved, 
it was in the end decided not to interfere with the Act. 

Of the prisoners tried for offences connected with 
the Rebellion, several were disposed of by military 
as well as by civil courts. Some of the ringleaders 
were executed, some transported, and most of the 
less guilty pardoned. 

1 have referred at some little length to the above 
matters, as it will explain the allusions occurring in 
my father's journal while in England in 1839 (Chapter 
X.) to reports and letters to, and to conversations 
with public men with respect to the Liability of 


Aliens to be tried for Treason; the Point Pele 
Prisoners; the American Invaders, &c. 

The measures taken in respect to these prisoners, 
and the cases of some invaders taken in arms, who 
were summarily shot in the Sandwich district, gave 
rise to much correspondence. 

The following letter from the Duke of Welling- 
ton to Lord Mahon, 7th December 1838, gives his 
opinion as to the necessity for firmly executing the 
laws and carrying out a determined policy at this 
juncture : 

What right have we to endeavour to prevail on British subjects 
to emigrate to Canada if we do not mean to protect their lives 
and property, and to execute the laws that have that in view ? 

If we ought to carry the law into execution with respect to 
natives, we are still more bound to take that course in respect 
to foreigners, who, in addition to all that can be urged against 
the act of rebellion by natives, are guilty of insolence to the 
laws and authority of a foreign Government. 

We must protect our English subjects against these attacks 
either by the weapon of the municipal law, or by making war 
upon the foreign Government whose subjects attack our terri- 
tory and our subjects. 

This is the common-sense of the case. Everything else is 
nonsense. 1 

It can be easily understood that much responsi- 
bility during the Rebellion fell upon the Government, 
and that not a little of this devolved upon my father, 
to whom the head of the Government naturally 
looked for advice, owing to his long experience of 
public life and of the people of Canada, upon many 

1 "Conversations with the Duke of Wellington/' by Lord Mahon 
(afterwards Earl Stanhope), 1889. 


The following private letter to Sir George Arthur, 1 
then Lieutenant-Governor, will show how anxious 
my father was that no ground should be given for 
supposing that his opinion was unduly sought lor, 
or offered, upon questions not appertaining to his 
judicial office : 

16th April 1838. 

MY DEAR Siu GKOHGE, An inquiry which you made this 
morning induces me to say a few words to you on a subject 
which is of some delicacy and no little consequence to the 
successful and agreeable administration of the Government. I 
have, besides, a personal reason for availing myself of a fair 
excuse for addressing some remarks to vour Excellency upon it. 
You asked me what had been the course usually pursued here 
in regard to references upon various public matters which were 
under the consideration of the Government. There is no 
reason why any peculiar svsl'-ni should prevail in this province 
with regard to references or consultations. What is right in 
England or in any other regularly conducted Government will 
be right here, and no deviation from the proper cour.-e can 
continue long without producing inconveniences and disadvan- 
tages of some kind. 

The Executive Council are of course the proper advisers on 
questions of policy and expediency, the Crown officers on all 
matters that involve legal considerations and all persons in 
charge of departments should be communicated with freely on 
all matters connected with their departments. When this is 
not done they have not the ppportunity which they should 
have of stating objections; and, fancying that they are not 
confided in, they grow unfriendly, jealous, and suspicious ; and 
there is much excuse for their becoming so, for it is a most 
uncomfortable thing to feel that they are held responsible bv 
the public for measures and arrangements in their department 
upon the presumption that they must have been consulted, 
while in truth they may have heard nothing of the matter, and 

1 Sir George Arthur was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada 1837 
to 1841, succeeding Sir Francis Head. 


may have had no opportunity of making their wishes or 
opinions known. Human nature in Upper Canada is like 
human nature everywhere else. 

With regard to myself, personally, it is fair towards your 
Excellency, and but justice to myself, that I should leave no 
room for misapprehension. 

As Chief- Justice, I am, like my brother judges, liable to be 
called on for reports, opinions, and advice in those cases in 
which recourse would be had to the judges in England, and in 
no others. I have no concern in the executive affairs of the 
colony, and no claim or wish to be consulted on any of them, 
except when they have so direct a bearing upon the general 
administration of justice as to make such a reference proper; 
and the more your Excellency bears this in mind, the better it 
will be, for it is most desirable that everything should as much 
as possible be made to pass through its proper channel. 

I had been sixteen or seventeen years Attorney-General, 
when Sir John Colborne came here, and in that capacity I had 
to be necessarily and properly in constant confidential com- 
munication with the Lieutenant-Governor. I continued in 
that office for seven months after his arrival, and when I was 
made Chief-Justice I became according to the Colonial system 
of that time President of the Executive Council, so that the 
habit of frequent reference to me was not interrupted. 

During his administration that system was changed, and I 
became merely Chief-Justice and Speaker of the Legislative 
Council, having in neither capacity anything to do with the 
executive measures of the Government, but my long acquaint- 
ance with public business gave me a good deal of traditionary 
knowledge, which it was desirable the Government should have 
the advantage of. Most (if not all) of the original officers of 
the Government had passed off the stage, and I was a sort of 
connecting link between the first and second generation, having 
long acted with those whose experience was no longer available 
to the Government. 

When Sir Francis Head came, I took an early opportunity 
of explaining to him the relations which my office and duties 
placed me in to the Government. In the last few months of 
his residence here the times were such that it was the plain 


duty of every one to be useful in all things to the utmost 
extent, and in the hurry and anxieties of the moment perhaps 
he did not constantly bear in mind distinctions of this kind, 
which, nevertheless, cannot be expediently overlooked. 

I have troubled your Excellency with this explanation because 
it may be useful. 

I do not affect to be without the common feeling of anxiety 
that all things may be done for the best in the country I live 
in, and from a principle of duty any information I ]><> 
upon public questions, and my opinions upon private matters 
(not interfering with the free discharge of my judicial duties), 
are at the service of the representative of my Sovereign, when- 
ever he may think proper to desire them. 

But my wish is that any assistance of this kind should be 
sought and rendered in such a manner as to give the least 
possible occasion for uneasiness or remark in any quarter. 

I shall take it for granted that your Excellency will never 
think it necessary to refer to me on my own account, except in 
those cases when it would be reasonably suppo>ed that I must 
have been consulted, and where, consequently, I should share 
the responsibility for any erroneous decision. 

I am sure your Excellency's experience will prevent your 
misapprehending anything I have stated, or my object in being 
thus explicit. I am, very respectfully and faithfully, your 
Excellency's obedient servant, JOHN" U. ROHINSON. 

For his services to the Crown, my father was, in 
1838, offered the honour of knighthood, which he 
declined, and the following extract from the Upper 
Canada Gazette, with respect to Colonel MacNab and 
himself, refers to this : 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 3rd May 1838. 

In giving publicity to the following despatch, the Lieutenant- 
Governor avails himself of the opportunity it affords him of 
expressing his high sense of the important services reported to 
him as having been rendered by Colonel MacNab, during the 
period in which the body of the militia of Upper Canada, of 
which he had the command, were employed in suppressing 



an unnatural and unprovoked rebellion, and in repelling the 
foreign outlaws and brigands who had attempted its invasion. 

His Excellency much regrets that his Honour the Chief- 
Justice has, from motives of the most peculiar delicacy, declined 
the honour intended to have been conferred on him, as the 
Lieutenant-Governor feels assured that it would have afforded 
all classes of her Majesty's subjects in this colony the greatest 
satisfaction, that a mark of royal approbation had been 
bestowed on a public officer, whose long and arduous services, 
and whose eminent abilities and integrity in the discharge of 
his official duties, so fully entitle him to any distinction which 
his Sovereign might graciously deem it proper to confer on 
him. By command of his Excellency, J. JOSEPH. 

No. 42. 

DOWNING STREET, 14#A March 1838. 

SIR, I have had the honour to receive Sir Francis Head's 
despatch of the 1st February (No. 14), calling the notice 
of her Majesty's Government to the important services of 
Colonel Allan MacNab and Mr. Chief-Justice Robinson, during 
the late insurrection in Upper Canada, and suggesting that the 
honour of knighthood should be conferred on these gentlemen. . . . 

In my despatch of the 30th January last (No. 16) I have 
already conveyed to you the Queen's gracious approbation 
of such of Colonel MacNab's services as had at that time been 
brought under her Majesty's notice. I have received her 
Majesty's commands to express her high satisfaction at the 
courage, spirit, and ability, which he has displayed in the trans- 
actions which have been since reported to me. 

Her Majesty will not fail to take into her favourable con- 
sideration Sir F. Head's suggestion, that some public mark of 
her approbation should be bestowed on Colonel MacNab. 

I have laid before the Queen Sir Francis Head's report 
of the services of Mr. Chief-Justice Robinson ; and have at 
the same time had the honour to submit to her Majesty 
that gentleman's letter declining the honour solicited for him 
by Sir Francis Head. I have received her Majesty's com- 
mands to express, through you, to Mr. Robinson, her appro- 


bat ion of his long and valuable exertions in the service of the 
Crown, and her sense of the disinterested motives by which his 
letter of the 6th ultimo was dictated. I h.-ivc. \:c. 

(Signed) GI.F.VKU:. 

My father's reasons for requesting that this 
intended distinction should not be conferred upon 
him are thus explained by himself: 

Sir Francis Head, no doubt from the kindest feeling, wrote 
to request, during the Rebellion of 1837, that the honour of 
knighthood should be conferred upon Mr. MaeNab and myself 
being the Speakers of the respective Houses, and both active 
on that occasion. 

I happened to hear that he had written to that effect from 
a gentleman to whom he had mentioned it in confidence, and I 
was in time to prevent hi* good intentions from being carried 
out, by writing to Lord Glenelg to beg that, so far as I was 
concerned, it might not be done. The Government, for some 
reason or other, had never conferred knighthood upon the 
Judges in these provinces, as they have occasionally done in the 
Eastern and Southern Colonies and, I believe, in the West Indies. 

VAs Chief-Justice, therefore, I did not feel that I had any 
obvious claim to it, while Mr. Sewell had been many years 
longer discharging with great credit the duties of Chief- 
Justice in Lower Canada without being so distinguished ; and 
it seemed to me rather absurd to allow myself to be knighted 
foi\merely doing my dutv, as everybody around me had done 
in a period of trouble and danger to all. 

The letters below refer to the period of the 
Rebellion : 

From Sir Francis Head (from before Navy Island and -chile 
mi/ fatJier was evidently, during hi* alienee, acting at 

Government House?) 

CHIPPEWA, 2nd January 1838. 

MY DEAR CHIEF, I have not a moment to write, but I 
wish to tell you my opinion of the capture of the Caroline, 

1 These letters were evidently seut by private hand, having no post- 
mark on the envelope. 


as far as I have had time to form it from the facts before my 
eyes. It has caused wonderful excitement, and has agitated 
what was before tranquil, but this, I think, will be produc- 
tive of good. As long as Jonathan could laugh at M'Kenzie 
firing at us, it was a capital joke. Now they are lugged in for 
his misdemeanours; and I think it will make them reflect. 
Yours in haste, F. B. HEAD. 

His Honour The CHIEF-JUSTICE, 
Government House, Toronto. 

CHIPPEWA, 4th January 1838. 

We have made all our preparations for attacking the 
wasps 1 nest on Saturday morning next, but I begin to think 
they will fly away. 

I hope you are not bent to the ground by the weight of my 
chain. I am glad to get it off my own neck. 

From Sir Allan (then Colonel) MacNdb (when before 
Navy Island). 

CHIPPEWA, 5th January 1838. 

MY DEAR SIR, I hope that your many friends have given 
you regular accounts of our proceedings here. Every prepara- 
tion that could be made has been made. We have now boats 
sufficient to cross 1200 men, and it is absolutely necessary to 
keep active operations going on. 

I do not think it will be necessary to attack the island. 1 
From the correspondence I have had with the authorities on 
the other side, I have formed my opinion. 

I am quite satisfied that the destruction of the Caroline 
and our active measures here have produced all this. They are 
much alarmed for the safety of Buffalo and all their frontier 
towns, and that alarm creates the great excitement. 

I am not insensible to the noble triumph it would be to 
put down the long dreaded revolt, about which so much has 
been said here and in England. That we should have driven 

1 As we have before mentioned, the enemy was compelled, as Sir 
Allan anticipated, to evacuate the island by artillery fire without any 
attack upon it by the infantry. 


these rebels from our country, defied and dispersed those in the 
United States who assisted them, without the assistance of a 
soldier or the loss of a man, this is the kind of victory I wish 
to obtain for Upper Canada, and to gain that great object all 
my operations are directed ; but, in doing this, we must pre- 
pare for the fight, and if we can gain our object and avoid the 
lo of life with honour to ourselves, rely upon it, I will do 
it. Yours very sincerely, ALLAN MACNAB. 

From Sir John Colborne l (soon after the attempt upon Toronto 
and outbreak in the Upper Province). 

MONTREAL, 6th January 1838. 

MY DEAR Cnn F-JrsricK, Do acquaint my friends the 
Attorney and Solicitor-General that there is not a person in 
Upper Canada more aware of the critical position of affairs in 
your province than I am, or more alive to the absolute neces- 
sity of sending you every man that can be spared to Niagara 
and Toronto. The fact is, we have been packing our troops 
off as fast as we can find conveyance for them. 

You will have two regiments among you in a few days, and 
more if I can venture to part with them. Read the enclosures 
which I have forwarded to Sir Francis. You may rely upon it 
that I shall never require to be prompted. Yours very sin- 
cerely, J. COLBORXE. 

From the Same. 
(As to State of Affairs in the Lower Province.) 

MONTREAL, 19th February 1838. 

DEAR CHIEF- JUSTICE, Without attempting to account 
for my silence or requesting you to believe that I have from 
day to day made good resolutions to write to you, I shall seize 
the opportunity of a quiet half-hour to have a talk with you 
on our affairs. I am still annoyed incessantly with reports 
from all quarters of the evil intentions and designs of our 
skirmishing, unseen enemy, acting on the extended line from 

1 Afterwards Field-Marshal Lord Seaton, Lieutenant-Governor of 
Upper Canada 1828 to 1835, Governor and Commauder-in-Chief of both 
provinces of Canada during the Rebellion 1837. 


Amherstburgh and Sandwich to Stanstead, one of our eastern 

At Kingston the officer in command has been more alarmed 
during the last week than at any period of the troubles, and 
insists that there are not less than two thousand brigands 
assembling at Watertown and five hundred at French Creek, 
provided with pikes and artillery to cross and attack the 

The fact is, that when it was known that two regiments 
had been sent by me from Montreal to the Upper Province, 
and that two companies of a third regiment were in motion, 
the rebels, assembled at Swanton, St. Albans, and Plattsburg, 
imagined that the regulars would have full employment ; and 
since that time contracts for arms, ammunition, and field-pieces 
have been made by them, and preparations have been going on 
near this frontier. They have so far succeeded in creating an 
alarm that about 400 persons have left Montreal, and there is 
more excitement in this district than there has been since the 
outbreak of the revolt. 

We have been obliged to arrest two members of Parliament 
at Nicolette, near Three Rivers, for spreading false reports. 

I have been compelled to assemble a sufficient force at 
St. John's and Acadie to attack and capture the invaders 
should they be inclined to pass the frontier by La Colle, &c. 
The Habitants' houses in all the villages from La Prairie to the 
frontier are well filled with troops, and I have brought down 
the Glengarry Volunteers to show them that, if their friends on 
the other side of the line will not disperse, they must suffer for 
their folly and their wickedness. 

Before we commence any discussion upon the measures 
which are to be adopted in the future government of this 
province we must prove that we have the power and the will 
to enforce obedience to the law. 

I intend to adhere to martial law in this district till we 
hear from home upon the subject. Arrests are made daily, 
and it will be difficult to adopt measures to prevent the con- 
tinuance of this reign of terror. 

The suspension of the Constitution would be the first act 
that I should recommend. If they have courage to agree to 


tluit measure 1 time will be <;iven to the Cabinet Minister^ to 
take a new departure, with many valuable landmarks for their 

\\ V have every reason to be satisfied with the efforts of the 
Governor of Vermont and of General Wool, the ollicer em- 
ployed under General Scott. Complaints have been made 
against General Scott for his activity by the voters of New 
York. Very sincerely you: J. COLBO. 

AVhatever may be the opinion held by any indi- 
vidual as to the Government policy prior to and 
during the Rebellion, it must, I think, be admitted 
that in many respects those representing the Crown 
in l r pper Canada, Sir John Colborne (afterwards 
Lord Scaton), Sir Francis Head, and Sir George 
Arthur, were all possessed of qualifications fitting 
them rather exceptionally for positions of authority 
at a disturbed and critical time. 

All of them were distinguished soldiers, active 
and able men, and with experience of the world. 

Sir John Colborne 2 prudent and extremely cool 
in emergency was a man of few words and prompt 
action. Napier describes him as a " man of singular 
talent for war/' He had served in Holland, Egypt, 
and the Peninsula, and had been Lieutenant-Governor 
of Guernsey. 

At Waterloo, by his sudden attack with the 52nd 
Regiment, made without orders and at a critical 
moment, upon the flank of the French Imperial Guard, 
he had contributed largely to its complete defeat. 

Sir Francis Head, chivalrous, brave, and outspoken, 
was a man of tireless activity. An excellent horse- 

1 Tliis nioHsure was adopted. 

- It is to his irreat interest in educatioual matters that Toronto mainly 
owes I'pper Canada College. 


man, he had performed exceptionally long and rapid 
journeys in South America. He had served in the 
Royal Engineers at Waterloo, 1 was known as a clever 
writer, and was understood when appointed to Canada 
to be so liberal in his views that he was looked upon 
by some as a tried reformer. 

Sir George Arthur, high-minded, firm, and 
humane, had had experience of government before 
he came to Canada. 

He had served in Egypt and Holland, been 
granted the freedom of the City of London for 
exceptionally gallant services at Flushing, and been 
Lieutenant- Governor of Honduras and Van Diemen's 

In the former island he had suppressed a serious 
revolt of the slave population, and his despatches on 
the subject of slavery had attracted the attention of 
Wilberforce. In Van Diemen's Land he had done 
much to improve the convict system, and in both 
Governments had received exceptional marks of the 
esteem of the inhabitants and their appreciation of 
his services. 

Amid the political excitement and turmoil which 
surrounded all three of these representatives of the 
Sovereign during the time they held office, they were 
well qualified to act impartially and with deliberation, 
and their sole aim was to quell disorder and outrage, 
and preserve Canada to the Crown. 

While dealing stringently with the leaders and 
agitators who had stirred up the ignorant to commit 
treason, they were all of a forbearing and humane 

1 He was, I believe, the only British officer present both at Ligny and 
Waterloo, having- been sent on some duty to Field-Marshal Blucher's 
army in time to see the former battle, and returning in time for the 



temper extremely anxious not to bear too hardly 
upon the deluded followers of these leaders. 

Some have considered them as cold and rather 
unsympathetic soldiers, but have strangely misinter- 
preted their characters. 1 

It may perhaps be pardonable in me to give the 
following extract from a confidential letter to my 
father written in 1838 by Sir George Arthur with 
respect to the prisoners who had been convicted of 
treason : 

The Attorney-General returned to me last evening the list of 
the persons convicted and who have petitioned. I do feel 
very anxious that not one should be recommended for trans- 
portation in whose favour anything can ho advanced to save 
him and his family from the ignominy of this disgraceful 

I know there is much to be said against all the parties 

implicated ; but, on the other hand, from the bottom of my 

heart I think that if ever there was any excuse for treason it 

extend to all but the ten or twenty ringleaders in this 


Sir Francis Head carried forbearance to its very 
utmost limits. 

Writing of these events in 1846, 2 and explaining 
his policy of forbearance up to the point when the 
use made by the enemy of the steamer Caroline 
forced him to change it, he says : 

The difficulty which, without exception, was the greatest I 
had to contend with during my residence in Upper Canada was 
that of restraining the power which, under a moral influence, 
had rallied round the British flag. 

1 Both Lord Seaton and Sir Francis Head lived to he over eighty years 
of age. I remember meeting both in England between 1857 and 1865. 
- " The Emigrant/' by Sir F. B. Head (1846). 


For nearly a fortnight the militia, in obedience to my 
repeated orders, without returning a shot had submitted in 
patience to the fire of twenty-two pieces of artillery, the 
property of the Government of the United States. 

By many, whos^ counsel it was my duty to respect, I was 
admonished that it was not politic to allow the militia of the 
province to be subjected to insult and disgrace. 

Many of my steadiest adherents seriously disapproved of 
the course I was pursuing; and even Captain Drew, R.N., now 
in this country (England), who on the outbreak had joined the 
ranks of the militia with a musket on his shoulder, and who 
was ready enough when called upon to do what was right, 
declared to Sir Allan MacNab that if the system I was pursuing 
was much longer continued, he should feel it due to himself and 
his profession to retire from the scene. 

I need hardly say with how much pain I listened to obser- 
vations of this nature, and how anxious I was to recover the 
territory I had lost. On the other hand, the more I reflected 
on the subject, the more I felt convinced of the propriety, as 
well as prudence of the policy I was pursuing. 

In August 1837 my father's continuous applica- 
tion to work brought on a serious illness endangering 
his life, 1 which compelled him to apply for leave of 
absence upon medical grounds. 

On 27th August 1838, he writes thus to the 
Honourable John Macaulay, acting as secretary to 
the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir George Arthur : 

. . . Your letter to me came at a time when I was wholly 
unable to answer it, and when I was indeed so ill that it was 
not communicated to me then, nor for some days afterwards. 

I am recovering rapidly from the effects of this severe attack, 
and of the remedies to which it was necessary to resort. My 

1 I gather from a letter to him from Dr. Widmer that he was suffering 
from what is termed ' s Nephralgia. " 


illness does not indicate, I hope, any permanent decline of 
health, but by my friends it is considered to have ari- 
evidently from an incessant and perhaps injudicious application 
to business, long continued, that they have been earnest in 
urging upon me to solicit from the Government such an interval 
of relaxation as may be likely to restore me to my usual state 
of health. 

The physicians especially who attended me (Doctors Short, 
Widmer, and King) have enjoined this upon me strongly as a 
matter of necessity ; and as their opinion on this head might 
be made the ground of my application, I have requested that 
they would make their statement in writing. 

They have done this in the papers which I now send. M) 
judgment confirms their opinion, and I have determined, 
though with reluctance on some grounds, to apply for his 
Excellency's permission to be absent for a year in England, 
during which period I should probably reside chieHy at 
Cheltenham. . . . 

\Yith respect to the discharge of my duty in my absence, 
the late addition to the number of Judges makes the Jk-nch 
now consist of five instead of three, and as four only can sit 
together in Bank, according to the Act, the Court will still be 
full. In regard to the additional duty which my absence will 
throw upon my brother Judges, I know I may venture to 
with confidence, that it will be undertaken with cheerfuhu 

I beg to add further that during the nine years and 
upwards that I have been Chief-Justice, I have not, for any 
private purpose either of business or pleasure, been absent that 
I can remember for a single day from my duty in the Courts 
or in the Legislature. 

It will not be in the power of his Excellency the Lieutenant- 
Governor, I believe, under existing regulations, to grant me a 
longer leave than six months, and for any extension beyond 
that time I must rely upon the kind consideration of the 
Secretary of State. To enable his Excellency to judge more 
satisfactorily of the propriety of aiding my application, I have 
thought it best to make these statements here in the Colony, 
Nvhere the facts must be generally known. . . . 


Writing afterwards (in 1839 and 1840) to his 
sister, Mrs. Boulton, who was also unwell, and re- 
ferring to this illness, he says : 

I am wearing out, I suppose, from foolish fagging and 
anxiety, and you from watching and worrying for all your 
neighbours and kinsfolk. I have worried myself too much 
through life from anxiety that in public matters all things 
should go as they ought. However, I would not exchange 
the satisfaction I feel in having done what I believed to be 
my duty for any consideration. 

When I had that serious illness in August 1837, the first I 
ever had, my mind was constantly turning to early scenes. 
When I looked back to the twenty or thirty years that had 
intervened, I felt that I had been labouring and worrying 
myself in great measure in vain. 

After all, my dear sister, it comes to this, that, living 
innocently, and striving earnestly to do our duty in all things, 
we must bring ourselves to feel that, while we are thus acting, 
we are fulfilling the will of God, and that whatever ills we are 
doomed to bear in the dispensation of His Providence are not 
properly to be regarded as misfortunes, but must be intended 
for our good. 

Having obtained six months' leave of absence, 
my father and mother, with their younger children, 1 
left Toronto for New York (27th September 1838) 
via Lake Champlain, and reached Bristol in the Great 
Western, one of the first steam vessels to cross the 
Atlantic, after an exceptionally quick voyage of 
twelve days, twelve hours. 

1 Of the other children, Christopher remained at Upper Canada 
College, and Lukin and John joined the party afterwards for a short 
time in England. 




Arrival in England The Durham Report The Union Hill Letters to 
;;iry of State Publication of "Canada ;uul the Canada Hill " 
Provisions of Union Bill of UJoM -My father's ohji-ctions to them 
Feeling in 18.'}!) as to union of all the British North-American 
provinces -- My father's views Considers the union of the two 
provinces alone certain to lead to embarrassments Alternative- 
scheme giving Upper Canada a seaport Letter to Sir Charles 
Metcalfe (1844) as to the Union Act Deadlock in the Provincial 
Legislature under the Act Confederation ensue? Summary of 
grounds for opposing Union Bill His views of British (iovernment 
in the Colonies under Responsible Government with respect to 
maintenance of British connection. 

UPON reaching England my father and his party 
spent two days at Clifton, and went thence to 
Cheltenham, to be near my mother's relations, the 
Merrys. The following cordial welcome from Sir 
Francis Head, then living at Atherstone Hall in 
Warwickshire, met them on their arrival : 

20th October 1838. 

Welcome to the shores of Old England ! I can scarcely 
believe you are once again in the same country with me. For 
the first time since I left Toronto I miss my power, for if I had 
an orderly sergeant, or an aide-de-camp, or a secretary, I would 
iul them all to the Chief-Justice to beg him to come to me. 
But I know you won't refuse, so do write me a line, and fix when 
you and Mrs. Robinson and your children will all come here. 

We have no amusements to offer you, but if I were in 
prison I would ask you to come to me, and I believe I should 
not ask in vain. 



So my Lord Durham has broken reins and traces, and 
kicked himself clean out of harness. 

With reference to the last paragraph of this 
letter, it must be explained that during the events 
of 1838, and before the suppression of the Rebellion, 
the Constitution in Lower Canada had been (29th 
March 1838) temporarily suspended, the administra- 
tion being carried on by a " Special Council." 

It had become a very urgent matter to determine 
by what civil as well as military measures peace and 
prosperity could be restored and maintained in the 
future, and a feeling of loyalty to the Crown and 
harmony between the French and English portions 
of the colony ensured. 

The Earl of Durham had been sent to Canada as 
Governor-General and High Commissioner (arriving 
27th May 1838), charged to make a report with a 
view to " the adjustment of certain important affairs 
affecting the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada," 
and it was generally recognised that some radical 
changes in the system of government of a liberal 
tendency would be introduced. He remained in 
Canada a little over five months, almost entirely in 
the Lower Province, and then, on account of the dis- 
approval by the home Government of some of his 
measures, resigned, and on 3rd November left Canada 
for England. It is his resignation to which Sir 
Francis alludes in the last paragraph of his letter 
given above. 

On the 31st January 1839 Lord Durham pub- 
lished his report in England, where my father was at 
the time. It was ably written, and entered at length 
into the state of things existing in both provinces of 


Canada, with the causes which, in his opinion, had 
led up to it ; and recommended the union of Upper 
with Lower Canada as a measure necessary for future 
tranquillity and good government or, more accu- 
rately speaking, a " re-union " of these two provinces, 
which had been one until they were divided in 1791. 

Later on, 20th June 1839, a Bill, framed on the 
basis of Lord Durham's report, was brought in by 
Lord John Russell in England, for " Re-uniting the 
Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and for the 
Government of the United Province." 

This Bill, commonly spoken of as " The Canada 
Bill " and " The Union Bill," was very different in 
some important provisions and details from that 
which received the royal assent in 1840. 

At this time my father, in consequence of his 
intimate acquaintance with Canadian affairs, was 
urgently pressed by many both in England and 
Canada to make public his views with respect to 
the Durham report and the proposed union, which 
he eventually did in " Canada and the Canada Bill," 
published in London early in 1840. 

Much of his spare time, more than was desirable 

doubt as far as his restoration to health was con- 
cerned, was taken up, during 1839-40, with the 
question of the " Union," and on this account, and 
the better to explain the frequent allusions to this 
subject in his journal and correspondence 1 while in 
England in those years, I give below what he says 
himself in an entry in his journal as to the course he 
took. This entry was made 20th January 1840, just 
before " Canada and the Canada Bill " was about to 
issue from the press. 

1 See Chaps. X. and XI. 


From my Father's Journal. 

I came over to England in 1838. A wish was expressed by 
Lord Glenelg 1 to see me on Canadian affairs. I saw him in 
November and December, and also in January 1839, but all 
discussion for practical purposes was postponed by consent till 
Lord Durham's report should be received. 

This came in February, recommending the union of the 
Canadas and other matters, and was sent to me for remarks. 

On 23rd February 1839 I wrote a long official letter on the 
report, objecting to the union, and assigning reasons. 

I was requested to state what I would prefer. This I did 
in official letters of 9th and 29th March 1839, mentioning, 
when I gave them in to Lord Normanby, that if the Govern- 
ment should at all concur in my suggestions, of course I should 
have no desire to make my letters further known, but that if 
they should take a different course, I must be considered at 
liberty to state publicly what I had advised on being referred 
to at such a crisis. He assented to this. 

Neither in writing nor verbally were my suggestions ever 
discussed with me, nor do I know by whom they have been con- 
sidered, or what was thought of them. 

After this I heard no more till the Queen's message an- 
nounced that the Government had determined on re-uniting 
the provinces. Reading this in the newspapers, as every one 
else did, gave me the first intimation that they favoured this 

In June they introduced their Bill, of which I was as wholly 
ignorant as if I had been in India, until a member of the 
House of Commons, unconnected with the Government, gave 
me a copy. 

Of Mr. Thompson's 2 appointment, or the objects for which 

1 Secretary of State for the Colonies. Soon after this (February 1839) 
Lord Normanby succeeded Lord Glenelg, and was not long afterwards 
(August 1839) replaced by Lord John Russell. 

2 In the autumn of 1839 Mr. Poulett-Thompson (afterwards Lord 
Sydenham) was sent to Canada to succeed Lord Durham. He was to 
obtain information as to details which had been found wanting in the 
Union Bill, and endeavour to influence opinion in its favour. In the 
meantime the Bill was withdrawn for a session. 


he was sent, or his instructions, not a word was e\< r said 
to me. 

Lord John Russell has communicated with me on two other 
subjects in writing, and has seen me once, but never alluded to 
their measures respecting Canada, nor did I. I have always 
abstained from inquiring (as their desire seemed to me to be 
ved), and have contented myself with letting it be seen 
that I was willing to give them all the information in my power. 

Karly in November 1839 I began a paper on the Bill, and 
having said what I desired upon its principles and details, I 
determined that I would print it, 1 with an introductory 
chapter, and a letter to Lord John Russell. The latter I 
made longer than I had at first intended. 

All was written, and the whole examination of the Bill 
printed before anything was known of the opinions of the 
legislative bodies in Canada upon the Bill, and in fact before 
they had met and discussed it. 

Much of the Bill against which I have objected seems now 
to have been given up, but it is satisfactory for me to show 
that I was correct in my opinion that those parts of the Bill 
would not be approved in the Colonies by any party. 

The words above, " seems now to have been given 
up," mean given up at the date of this entry in his 
Journal, i.e. 20th .January 1840. The Legislature in 
Canada discussed the Bill in December 1839, and 
" Canada and the Canada Bill " was published in 
England in January 1840. It was not certain, of 
course-, what would be the future of the Bill, which 
had been temporarily withdrawn, but Mr. Poulett- 
Thompson had expressed his intention to recommend 
to the Imperial Government not to press certain of 
those provisions to which my father had objected. 

Lord Durham's report a blue-book with appen- 
dices of 690 folio pages was a very exhaustive one, 

1 This paper was printed under the title of " Canada and the Canada 


and my father's letters to the Secretary of State, 
commenting upon its statements and suggestions, 
constitute themselves reports of some length. 

In his first letter of 23rd February 1839 he dis- 
cussed the measures advocated by Lord Durham, 
and the grounds and evidence upon which they had 
been apparently based. 

In his letter of 9th March he gave his own sug- 
gestions as he had been desired officially to do 
for the future government of Canada, and in that of 
29th March explained the measures which, in his 
opinion, would most conduce to the security of the 
country, and to restoring confidence in its financial 
stability and future prosperity. 

I have already mentioned (in Chapter III.) some of 
the defensive measures which he advocated in his 
letter of 29th March 1839, and it would be tedious, 
and is needless for me, to enter at this point into 
details of the Durham report, and my father's reply 
to it in the letters above alluded to, because one of 
the most important results of that report was the 
Union Bill of 20th June 1839, largely based upon it, 
and the provisions of which were examined and com- 
mented upon by my father in " Canada and the Canada 
Bill," to which I shall particularly refer further on. 

It should be explained that the Durham report, 
as far as Upper Canada was concerned, was not 
based upon Lord Durham's personal acquaintance 
with that part of the country. He had been but 
eleven days passing through Upper Canada, of which 
five had been spent in travelling, one in Toronto, 
and the remainder at the Falls of Niagara. 

This portion of the report necessarily rested upon 
information supplied by others, and the correctness of 


some of this, and of the deductions drawn from it, 
my father disputed. 

Apart from its general recommendations, and 
while fully admitting the ability with which the re- 
port was drawn up, he considered it, especially with 
respect to Upper Canada and its strictures upon the 
conduct of public matters there, to be in many points 
incorrect and misleading. 

It is singular with respect to a State document so 
important politically and historically as this has been, 
that it is doubtful to the present day who really 
inspired those portions of it which related to Upper 
Canada, and that it seems clear that up to the eve of 
his departure for England, Lord Durham himself was 
strongly opposed to the union of the Canadas, which 
he advocated in it. 

No one denies, writes Mr. Bradshaw, 1 a warm 
appreciator of the services of Lord Durham, that the 
latter had consistently opposed, during the whole of 
his stay in Canada, the proposed union of the pro- 
vinces ; and on 2nd October 1838, one month before 
he sailed for England, the Earl wrote thus to Major 
Richardson : 2 - 

I)i AK SIR, I thank you kindly for your account of the 
meeting (got up in favour of the union in Montreal), which 
was the first 1 received. I fully expected the "outbreak" 
about the union of the two provinces. It is a pet Montreal 
project, beginning and ending in Montreal selfishness. Yours 
truly, DURHAM. 

Sir Allan MacNab also wrote to Sir Francis 
Head some years afterwards : 2 

1 " Self-Government in Canada," by F. Bradshaw (1908), p. 250. 

3 "The Emigrant," by Sir F. B. Head, pp. 378 an.l 376, Major 
Richardson was author of a " History of the War of 1812-15 " (see p. 42), 
and was then acting as correspondent of the Times in Canada. 



MONTREAL, 28th March 1846. 

MY DEAR SIR FRANCIS, I have no hesitation in putting on 
paper the conversation which took place between Lord Durham 
and myself on the subject of the union. He asked me if I was 
in favour of the union. I said " No." He replied, " If you 
are a friend to your country oppose it to the death." I am, 
&c., ALLAN 

Mr. Bradshaw 1 discusses whether Buller or 
Turton, or Wakefield, who were all associated with 
Lord Durham, wrote certain parts of the report, and 
with regard to that portion of it relating to Upper 
Canada, says : 

It is unfortunate that Lord Durham himself did not stay 
long in Upper Canada, for he would probably have left a truer 

And again 

A sketch of the political history of Upper Canada is then 
given in the report, but it cannot be said that it possesses 
anything like the value of that in the previous section (i.e. on 
Lower Canada). . . . 

It is an unpleasant feature in this section of the report (on 
Upper Canada) that such charges are made without any 
evidence to substantiate them. 

What I have mentioned above is of little public 
consequence. Lord Durham signed the report, and 
therefore accepted it and made it his own, and he 
was right to change the views which he had held 
three months previously, if convinced that they were 
wrong. 2 I allude to it, though, to show that my 
father had apparently good ground both to be sur- 

1 " Self-Government in Canada," by F. Bradshaw, pp. 275-284. 

2 Lord Durham, having been in ill-health for some time, died 28th 
July 1840, shortly after the passing of the Union Act. What the grounds 
for his change of opinion were are possibly less known on this account. 


prised at the tenor of the report, and also to repudiate 
much that was written in it, especially regarding the 
particular province with which lie had heen so long 
himself officially connected. 

I wish (he wrote to the Secretary of State) your Lordship 
to understand that I am able to speak to most, if not all, of the 
matters adverted to in this report, and that I am now ready to 
show at any time, and in any place, that MR- ivport, in most of 
what relates to Upper Canada, is utterly unsafe to be relied upon 
as a matter of information by Government or by Parliament. 

One point which in his letter of 29th March he 
laid stress upon as essential to produce confidence 
abroad in the financial stability and industrial future 
of Canada, was that the Mother Country should 
show clearly its determination to maintain its con- 
nection with the colony. 

It had been urged by some that the difficulty of 
defending Canada was so great that the idea of doing 
so must he given up as impracticable. 

Alluding to this in his letter, he says : 

Canada cannot be abandoned, and never will be while 
England is a nation ; and surely sound policy and good 
economy is to look the true state of things fairly in the face. 

Let it be supposed that any Power in Europe should take 
a fancy to the most barren of the Orkney Islands, or of the 
rocks of Scilly, would not Great Britain put forth, if it were 
necessary, the whole of her strength to defend it? Canada 
must be defended from a sense of the national honour, just 
as an individual protects his property, at the peril of his life, 
against a small encroachment as well as a large one. Nation-. 
like individuals, if they would be respected, must know no 
other rule. 

But happily there is much to cheer the British nation in 
their resolution to defend these Colonies. Their present value 
is great, their prospective importance to the Empire can 


scarcely be estimated. Their growth in power and wealth 
is certain and inevitable. 

That they can be defended there is no reason to question : 
there is indeed no ground for apprehending their loss, so long 
as Great Britain retains her supremacy on the ocean, and when 
that shall be at an end, what will become of her other colonies 
in all quarters of the globe? And what will be her rank 
among the nations ? The vital question with her is the 
preservation of her naval superiority ; and from those who 
believe that an Almighty hand rules the destinies of nations, 
it calls for the liveliest feelings of gratitude to Providence, 
that to aid her in maintaining the indispensable condition of 
her greatness, she has the harbours, the fisheries, the commercial 
marine, the timber, the hemp, the coal, which these colonies 
present, or may be made to yield. 

To turn now particularly to my father's book, 
" Canada and the Canada Bill." 

In the introductory letter to Lord John Russell, 
he refers to the reasons which influenced him in pub- 
lishing it : 

Had I suppressed the public declaration of my sentiments 
at so critical a moment, when my accidental presence in England 
had enabled me to state them with convenience, and possibly 
not wholly without effect, I could only account for the omission 
by acknowledging an apprehension that by openly expressing 
my opinions upon a public question, however respectfully, I 
might incur the displeasure of the Government, and that I had 
therefore been silent ; a reason which, if it should have become 
necessary to give it, would not have done honour to the Govern- 
ment, or to myself. ... I shall bear, as cheerfully as others, my 
individual share of whatever consequences may flow from those 
measures which Parliament shall ultimately adopt, after the 
question has been presented, in all its aspects, to their considera- 
tion ; but I could never patiently bear the reproach which I 
should feel I deserved, if, at such a moment, I refrained from 
communicating freely to others the apprehensions which I now 
teel so strongly myself. 


Probably he was also influenced in publishing it 
by another reason, viz., that the Legislative Council 
of Upper Canada had, on 4th April 1839, passed a 
resolution adverse to the union, and in forwarding it 
to him requested him to bring the affairs of the 
province under the notice of the Crown, and " gener- 
ally represent the interests of the province." 

Commenting on the course he took, Mr. Fennings 
Taylor, 1 writing in 1865, says: 

He did what was expected of him and he did it well. The 
practical separation which has since taken place of the provinces 
whose union he sought to avert, should, we think, be accepted 
as a compliment to his sagacity and foresight. 

By this Mr. Taylor probably means that the two 
provinces, though they remained officially one until 
the Confederation Act of 1867, had, when he wrote, 
owing to divergent aims and interests, become prac- 
tically two. As to this see pp. 263-265 of this 

"Canada and the Canada Bill" was a pamphlet 
more than a book a small work of 200 pages and 
was, as we have said before, a detailed examination 
of the provisions of the Union Bill of 20th June 1839 
based upon the Durham report, not of the Bill as 
it became an Act on 23rd July 1840, which was 
freed from many of the original provisions to which 
both my father and the Legislature of Canada had 
alike and independently objected. 

The 7V///c.v, in reviewing the pamphlet, said : 

We feel warranted in saying, though without absolutely 
committing ourselves to the opinions of the author, that it 
contains a larger stock of useful and authentic information in 

1 " Portraits of British Americans," by Fennings Taylor (1865). 


regard to the present position, wants, and prospects of that 
colony than any other production on the same subject we have 
happened to meet with. 

The Union Bill, upon which it commented, stated 
in its preamble that, in order to provide for the 
future good government of Canada, it was expedient 

(1) The provinces of Upper and Lower Canada 

should be reunited and form one province 
for the purposes of executive government 
and legislation. 

(2) That for the protection of local interests 

this province should be divided into dis- 
tricts, each with a District Council. 

(3) That the county of Gaspe and the Magdalen 

Islands (which formed part of Lower 
Canada) should be annexed to New Bruns- 

The various clauses of the Bill provided for the 
manner in which these measures were to be carried 
out in detail, and were of course framed with a view 
to facilitate the working of the main measure of the 
Bill the Union. 

In order to understand the character of the Bill, 
it is necessary to mention that there were to be five 
districts in United Canada. 

Every district, in addition to having a " District 
Council," was to be divided into nine electoral 

The districts and electoral divisions were not laid 
down in the Bill, but were left to be afterwards 
formed by the award of arbitrators, subject to the 


principle that the number of electoral divisions should 
be as nearly as possible equal in each of the old 
provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. 

Some twenty clauses of the Bill related to the 
formation of these District Councils, to which much 
importance was attached, as extending local govern- 
ment. They were to be more than ordinary muni- 
cipal bodies managing purely local concerns; were, 
under certain restrictions, to be entrusted with large 
powers ; and were to be in some sense more like 
district parliaments or minor legislatures, subordinate 
to the Provincial Legislature. 

They were to be permitted to pass ordinances for 
the making of railways and canals, \c., in the district, 
to impose tolls on local works, and taxes on real and 
personal property, in order to raise a revenue for the 
salaries of district officials, and to meet other expenses 
connected with district government, while none of 
their ordinances were to be valid if they were repug- 
nant to, or impeded, the operation of any Act of the 
Provincial Legislature. 

The arbitrators who were to settle the division 
into districts were to lay down what portion of the 
revenue should form the consolidated revenue of the 
united province, and what be devoted to local pur- 
poses ; also to determine the civil list and how it 
should be appropriated ; none of which important 
matters were settled in the Bill itself. 

The constitution of the Legislative Council (the 
Upper House) was to be materially changed, power 
being given to commit to the Governor of the pro- 
vince the appointment of members, which had before 
rested with the Crown ; the tenure of the office of 
legislative councillor was to be limited to eight years 


instead of being for life ; no property qualification for 
members was laid down ; the old title of " Speaker " 
of the Council was to be altered to " President," and 
the Colonial Parliament was to be empowered to 
pass laws respecting the time and place of holding 
sessions of the Legislature, its prorogation and 
dissolution, which had hitherto been the prerogative 
of the Crown. 

I should be considered tedious were I to enter 
here at greater length than I have above into the pro- 
visions of the Bill of 1839, apart from its principal 
one the u Union." 

All those which I have mentioned were objected 
to by my father, and have now comparatively little 
interest, because, owing to the representations of 
others as well as his remonstrances, they were in 
great part withdrawn ; but, at the time the Bill was 
introduced, some were of much importance, as upon 
their working the success or failure of the main 
measure largely depended. 

In case any should, however, wish to know the 
grounds upon which my father's objections were 
based, I have given several of these (for I have not 
room for all), taken from " Canada and the Canada 
Bill" in the Appendix (A., v.). 

Any one caring to turn to the Union Act of 
1840, the Bill of 1839, and my father's views ex- 
pressed in " Canada and the Canada Bill," will see 
how materially the Bill of 1839, apart from its main 
principle of the union, was modified in the direction 
of his views before it passed into law. 

In all from twenty to thirty alterations, of more 
than a mere verbal character, urged by him as desir- 
able, in the sixty odd clauses of the Bill, were intro- 


duced into the Act of 1840 ; and several omissions, 
to which he had drawn attention, were inserted. 

The new districts, district Councils, and elec- 
toral divisions, with the settlement of questions by 
arbitration, found no place in the Act of 1840. 

The division of the country for purposes of 
representation was all detailed in the Act itself. 

The clause empowering the delegation to the 
Governor of the province of the appointment of 
legislative councillors was altered; the tenure of 
their seats was made for life; the qualifications to 
render them eligible were modified ; the old title of 
" Speaker " was retained. 

A small qualification in real estate for members 
of both Houses was laid down. 

The power to prorogue and dissolve the Legislature 
was confined to the Governor not vested in the 
1 .egislature. 

The omissions pointed out as to Courts of Appeal 
and other matters were supplied. 

(ias]>e was not detached from Lower Canada, and 
her Majesty was empowered to annex the Magdalen 
Islands to the Island of Prince Edward. 

In short, of the three measures which the pre- 
amble to the Bill stated to be expedient two were 
altogether abandoned. 

My father must have been glad to see that the 
House of Assembly in Upper Canada, when passing 
at a later date the Union Bill of 1840, recommended 
to their consideration by Mr. Poulett-Thompson, 
accompanied their assent to the measure with an 
address to the Queen, of which the following is an 
extract : 


It is with the most sincere satisfaction that this House has 
received from your Majesty's representative the assurance that 
the Bill introduced into the House of Commons during the 
last session of the Imperial Legislature (i.e. in 1839), is not to 
be considered as embodying the provisions which may hereafter 
be adopted by the Imperial Parliament and that it is his 
Excellency's intention to recommend to her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, in the new measure that must be introduced, to adhere 
as much as possible to existing territorial divisions for electoral 
purposes, and to maintain the principle of the Constitutional 
Act of 1791 with regard to the tenure of seats in the Legislative 
Council (i.e. that they should be for life). We further respect- 
fully submit the necessity of providing that the members of 
the Legislature should possess a stake in the country equal to 
that now required by the laws of this province. 

With regard to the chief measure of the Bill of 
1839, viz., the " Union," which he unsuccessfully 
opposed, there is no doubt that the problem which 
it was hoped to solve viz., the provision of a govern- 
ment under the supremacy of the British Crown 
which would, in the words of the Bill, " best secure 
the rights and liberties and promote the interests 
of all classes" was, under the then circumstances 
of Canada, an exceptionally difficult one. 

Sir Robert Peel, speaking in the House of Com- 
mons, said, " I defy any person, with a full considera- 
tion of all that has passed in Canada, to frame a 
Government which shall be totally free from 
danger ; " and it was very uncertain how any scheme 
which had a practical chance of acceptance at this 
period, both in Canada and the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, would succeed in attaining the objects sought. 
" Confederation " has since taken the place of the 
partial union of 1840 (i.e. of the two provinces of 
Canada only), and so there is no ground to regret 

ix THE r\I()\ HILL 253 

that the latter union was first adopted ; but in the 
scheme of uniting English and French Canada alone, 
without including the other North American Pro- 
vinces, grave difficulties and risks were involved, 
which made its safety and success most doubtful. 

In addition to that of linking together two pro- 
vinces in which the mass of the people differed in 
language, laws, and religion, and whose antagonisms, 
prejudices, and jealousies had been embittered by the 
recent events of the Rebellion, there was the necessity 
of securing in the Legislature of the united province 
British ascendency and loyalty to the Crown ; in 
other words, that the Assembly returned to represent 
the united provinces should not be so composed as to 
endanger British interests in a British colony. 

Both those who supported the Union Bill and 
those who opposed it were equally decided upon this 

Lord Durham, in his report, uses these words : 

It must henceforth be the first and steady purpose of the 
British Government to establish an English population with 
English laws and language in this (the Lower) province, and to 
trust its government to none but a decidedly English legis- 

It has been aptly written by a well-known pen : 

Lord Durham's policy for French nationality was extinction. 
This, he fancied, would be accomplished by the union of the 
provinces, which would bring the weaker race under the direct 
pressure of the stronger. He did not calculate on party 
divisions in the stronger race, which gave the key to the popular 
situation in the Quebec vote. 1 

1 Article by "Bystander" in the Toronto Wrrkly ,S// W , l!th September 


But in my father's opinion it was by no means 
the French Canadians alone who had been the 
originators of the troubles of Canada. 

For my own part, he says (alluding to a passage in Lord 
Durham's report), I think that their assumed settled bitter 
and permanent hostility to their British fellow-subjects has 
been too much dwelt upon as the inevitable consequence of the 
difference of races. I believe that for years and years after the 
conquest, hatred of their fellow-subjects, and of their govern- 
ment, was not an active or settled principle in the minds of the 
Canadian peasantry. 

The French Canadian leaders were not the only agents in 
producing these troubles. They had able assistants and 
instructors, neither did they succeed without great difficulty, 
nor until a long course of persevering agitation. 

He thought that they would never have suc- 
ceeded at all, 

had the Government in England shown that firmness, without 
which no Government will ever have credit with the ignorant 
and the prejudiced for believing itself to be in the right. 

In his view the danger to the future tranquillity 
of Canada lay fully as much in politicians of British 
origin joining for political purposes with French 
malcontents ; and that it was therefore essential to 
provide a Legislature for the united province in which 
British influence should be so dominant as to make 
it hardly possible that any unreasonable British 
minority should attain to power by the aid of the 
French vote. 

There were very divergent opinions as to the way 
in which the desired British influence could be best 


secured. Many who were in favour of the union of 
the two provinces of Canada, and saw no dan^vr 
in that, were opposed to the further extension of the 
union so as to include all the British North Ameri- 
can Provinces. 

Thus we find Sir \Vilinot Horton, in 1839, 1 quot- 
ing as follows from the Montreal Gazette, to show that 
opinion in Canada was opposed to such an extension : 

At a public meeting held here (Montreal), the comparative 
merits of both unions (i.e. of the two Canadas only and of all 
the North American Colonies) were placed in the balance. . . . 

There was not a member of the meeting who had one word 
to say in its (the federal scheme's) favour. 

Nature, reason, and experience are totally adverse to 
idea of Mich a scheme. 

At this meeting Mr. Day, Q.C., >aid : " A confederation of 
the provinces is a useless piece of machinery the confedera- 
tion could not exist for ten years without a separation from 
the parent State taking place." 

And Mr. Henry Bliss, Q.C., writes thus in 

\Vhat would be the powers, what the object of a federa- 
tive Legislature in those Colonies the proposal has no friends 
or supporters in any quarter of the Colonies. It is deprecated 

an utter mistake, at variance with their wants and wishes, 
inconsistent with their relations to each other and to the parent 
kingdom, and involving repugnances and embarrassments fatal 
to any practical purpose. 

It is very striking, indeed, in reading the history 
of these times, to see how many there were possibly 

1 "Exposition and Defence of Earl Bathurst's Administration, and 
Thoughts on the Present Crisis in the Canadas," 2nd edition (1839). 

2 " F.s-ay on the Reconstruction of Her Majesty's Government in 
Canada." hy Henry Bliss, Q.C., of the Inner Temple (1839). 


from having before their mind the history of the 
British Colonies which subsequently rebelled and be- 
came the United States, and the Rebellion of 1837- 
1838 who looked upon a separation of all Colonies 
from the Mother Country as merely a matter of time, 
and upon their federation as only hastening that time. 

There were others, however, and among them 
Lord Durham himself, who were not insensible to 
the advantage of a union of all the provinces, but 
considered it impracticable or undesirable at the 

In his report, Lord Durham says : 

While I convince myself that such desirable ends (removing 
the troubles of Canada) would be secured by the legislative 
union of the two provinces (alone), I am inclined to go further 
and inquire whether all these objects could not be more surely 
attained by extending this legislative union over all the British 
provinces in North America. 

He considered, however, that circumstances 
would not then admit of such a union, and that 
other measures must be taken without delay. He 
therefore recommended that the union of the two 
Canadas alone, under one Legislature and as one 
Province, should be at once carried out. 

Lord Durham explains that the union he had in 
view was a " legislative union," i.e. the complete 
incorporation of the provinces under one Legislature 
exercising all powers of legislation throughout (as 
in the case of the British Isles) ; not a federal 
union, such as the present Dominion, where the 
Federal Legislature exercises power in matters of 
general concern, but the Provincial Legislatures in 
matters of purely provincial and local concern. 


My father was not entirely in agreement with 
either of the above opposing views. 

He looked upon a confederation of all the British- 
American Provinces, with the enlargement of British 
influence and ascendency in the Government which 
it would necessarily bring with it, as the best 
remedy for the troubles of Canada, and a far more 
effective one than the union of Upper and Lower 
Canada only. 

He had no fears that this would endanger British 
connection, but held that it would strengthen it. 1 
He did not concur with Lord Durham in his con- 
viction that the end desired "would be secured 
by the union of the two provinces" merely; antici- 
pating that this partial union would lead to a situa- 
tion under which the government of the country, 
consistently with British interests, could not be 
carried on. 

The union he wished to see was (to quote his 
own words) 

A confederacy of provinces, erected into a kingdom, 3 and 
under the government of a Viceroy, the executive 
government and local legislatures of the different provinces 
remaining as they are, except that the functions of the latter 
would be necessarily confined to objects purely local. 

In the following passage in " Canada and the 
Canada Bill" he clearly states what he anticipated 

Mis remarks on this subject in 1822 (chap. vi.). 

2 Letter to Lord Batliurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies (l: 
subsequently published. (See chap, vi.') 

3 It is interesting to read in the Life of Sir John Macdonald, by 
Mr. Joseph Pope, how desirous he was that the new Confederation in 
1867 should be styled the "Kingdom of Canada." That it was not so 
he considered a threat opportunity missed" towards hastening Imperial 
federation throughout the British dominions. 



would be the effect of uniting Upper and Lower 
Canada alone : 

I greatly apprehend (whatever advantages might be reason- 
ably expected from a legislative union of the four North 
American Colonies, if that were found practicable, and con- 
sidering the character of the population of Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick) that the effect of uniting the two provinces of 
Canada only will be to create a representative assembly such 
as the Government will be unable to withstand, except by 
measures which it is painful to anticipate ; that it may, at 
the very outset, and will certainly at no distant period, give 
existence to a representative body in which the majority will 
not merely be opposed in the common spirit of party to any 
colonial governor who shall not be unfaithful to his trust, but 
a majority which would be held together by a common desire 
to separate the colony from the Crown a party, consequently, 
whom it will be impossible to conciliate by any concession 
within the bounds of right. ... If the two provinces be 
united I fear that we shall see jealousy, rivalry, and national 
antipathy working their mischief through a wider range. In 
times of political excitement we should have opposition to the 
Government producing the same troubles and embarrassments 
to both provinces, and, at length, concessions which would 
prove ruinous to both. 

He writes thus also with respect to the proposed 
measure : 

It is well known that this (the union of Upper and Lower 
Canada only) is not altogether a new project. 

The idea of giving but one Legislature to the two provinces 
of Canada was seriously entertained in 1822, when the present 
Sir Wilmot Horton, then Under-Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, brought in a bill for that purpose. 

It may probably be remarked that the intended measure, 
being abandoned and not carried, the result has been a re- 
bellion in both provinces ; but the answer is not less obvious. 
It is true that there has been a formidable rebellion in Lower 



Canada, but not because the Government failed to apply the 
suggested remedy of the union ; the security against siu-li a 
misfortune lay in measures of another kind, much more easy 
of adoption, and much more certain in their effect. 1 It is true 
also that there was a rebellion in Upper Canada ; but it was 
a movement contrived and conducted by those very persons 
whom a union would most probably have placed in the United 

In 1822 I did, at the request of the Colonial Department, 
express at some length my opinions upon a plan which many 
years before had been suggested from another quarter, and I 
ventured to add some propositions of my own. 

I thought that I saw certain advantages in such a policy, 
and I believed then, as I still believe, that there was little in 
the apprehensions which ni.-mv entertained that such a union 
would enable and dispose the Colonies to combine together in 
opposition to the Mother Country. 

That I think is forbidden by their relative geographical 
position, and there are other reasons which satisfy me that 
the fear need not be entertained. 

My father did not think that the provision in the 
Union Bill, giving an equal number of representatives 
in the joint Legislature to each of the old provinces 
of Upper and Lower Canada, would suffice to fully 
secure British interests. 

His opinion in 1822 (see chap, vi.) had heen 
that were the proposal for a confederation of the 
British-American Provinces put fully before the 
people (which he contended it never had been), it 
would be favourably received ; in short, that it merely 
wanted a full discussion. 

But now (in 1839) the state of the Canadas, con- 
sequent upon the Rebellion, had caused many in the 

1 My father here and in the next few paragraph- alludes to his advocacy 
of the confederation of all the provinces in lJL'. He then also opposed 
the partial union. (See chap, vi.) 


other provinces to be disinclined to join them, and 
this being the case, my father advocated, as preferable 
to a union of the two Canadas alone, an alteration 
of the boundary line between the Upper and Lower 

Kingsford, in his " History of Canada," (vol. x. 
p. 200) referring to the various propositions as to the 
union brought forward in 1839, says : 

The propositions of Sir John Beverley Robinson, and the 
men he represented, foreshadowed confederation. . . . The 
proposal was to unite the four provinces for the purposes of 
general legislation only, leaving them in other respects as 
they were, retaining their Legislatures and distinct autonomy 
the plan ultimately adopted in the present constitution. 

These propositions Mr. Kingsford, speaking of 
those of my father and others as a whole, regards as 
having been unjust to Lower Canada, no doubt on 
account of the suggested alteration of the boundary 

But my father, whatever may have been the 
propositions of others, did not propose any alteration 
of boundary in the event of confederation. 

It was not to a federation of all the provinces, 
which he had always and earnestly advocated, but 
solely to the union of the two Canadas alone that 
my father preferred it. 

He proposed that, in lieu of running the risks 
which he believed would be incurred in the more 
partial union, the boundary line should be altered. 
To quote his own words 

So as to embrace the Island of Montreal with some of the 
territory on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence and all 
the lands on the south-west side of the Ottawa ; to make the 


added territory a new county of Upper ('aimda, giving it in 
all respect* the same laws, and providing tor it.s representation 
in the Assembly upon a just scale as compared with the other 
of Upper Canada leaving the rest of Lower Canada, 
with or without Gaspc as mav be thought best, to be governed 
as at present, for a limited time, not less than ten years, but 
under an amended constitution as regards the composition, 
proceedings, and powers of the special Council ; 

Or, after annexing Montreal and the contiguous territory 
to Upper Canada, as above proposed, to restore to Lower 
Canada its Assembly and Legislative Council so soon as tran- 
quillitv shall have been perfectly re-established, and an adequate 
civil list been provided for the support of the Government. 

And (he continues) : 

It is but just to remember that Upper Canada was made 
a separate colony in order that tho>e who might choose to 
settle in it might be free from anything which might appeal- 
unfavourable to their welfare in the laws or condition of the 
other province. 

It is deeplv to be regretted that, for the purpose of including 
in Lower Canada the whole of the French population, the line 
of division was (in 1791) carried up the- river St. Lawrence 
to that point where the English settlements commenced or 
about sixty miles above Montreal, to which town and no 
farther the St. Lawrence is navigable for ships thus excluding 
Upper Canada from the free enjoyment of a seaport. 

But I cannot see with what justice those who administered 
the government of this country in 1791 can be said to have 
acted unwisely in having divided that immense province. 1 

The two provinces united would form a territory much too 
large to be conveniently and safely ruled by one executive 

Would it have been a wise, a safe, or a justifiable remedy 

1 This division he considered a necessity under the circumstances of 
that day, and gives his reasons at length for that opinion. His arguments 
applied with comparatively greater force in 183!) than they do now, when 
railways, steam, and the telegraph have made communication much easier 
but they still apply. 


to have proposed for the troubled state of Ireland in 1796 
that it should be united with Scotland alone, and one Legis- 
lature given to the two kingdoms, with the right of almost 
universal suffrage? I think the people of Scotland would 
have had the sagacity to perceive that they were being made 
rather an unfair use of. 

In the case of the union with Ireland, the laws of that 
country did not lose the support nor its inhabitants the 
convenience of an executive Government easily accessible 
and even in the case of Scotland the same thing may be said. 
Though its individuality was not preserved, Scotland is still 

It exists as a separate country ; but the effect of this Bill 
would be to confound all distinction of territory, and to make 
the whole of Canada one province under one Government. 

I conclude here my quotations from " Canada 
and the Canada Bill." Whether an alteration of the 
boundary line between the two Canadas a measure 
which also had its drawbacks would have answered 
as well as, or better than, the partial union did, 
must always remain a matter of opinion, for the 
expedient was never tried ; but what my father was 
convinced of was that it would be impracticable 
to keep the two Canadas united and carry on the 
Government consistently with British interests, with- 
out that incorporation of the other British provinces 
which was not then acceptable. 

The Law Journal of Upper Canada, adverting 
to the part taken by him in publishing " Canada and 
the Canada Bill," says :- 

The independent spirit and true patriotism evinced by Sir 
John Robinson upon this occasion is entitled to the greatest 
praise. By the manner in which he wrote he placed himself 
in direct antagonism to the views of the Governor and his 


Four years after the passing of the Union Ac 
1840, my father wrote to Sir Charles Metcalfe: 

\Uh Mnrrf, l44. 

I have been told that your Excellency desired to .see the 
observations made by me upon the projected union of tin- 
Canadas. I did intend to have sent it 1 before, but I thought 
it not very probable that you would find time to give it a 

The Hill commented upon, as your Excellency will perceive, 
was that presented by Lord J. Russell in 18:$!), and printed 
by order of the House of Commons. 

When the measure \\a> presented again in 1840, the Hill 
was altered in very many of the particulars upon which I had 
remarked, so that much said by me in this little book is not 
applicable to the details of the present Act though it may 
have had some effect in making the Union Act what it now is. 

My distrust of the measure, I confess, continues, and most 
heartily glad I shall be if, after five years more have elapx-d. 
any one who has found a stray copy of my pamphlet shall 
be able to conclude satisfactorily that my worst apprehensions 
were groundless. 

To show that these apprehensions were not ground- 
less, but that serious dangers and embarrassments 
occurred under the Government created by the 
union, I may, I think, appeal to history. More 
than one writer upon Canadian subjects has alluded 
to these. I quote the following from Mr. John 
Dent's "Canada since the Union of 1841," vol. ii. 
p. 439, referring to the year 1864 : 

Public affairs were literally at a deadlock. Both parties 
had tried in vain to carry on the government of the country. 
Successive dissolutions and elections had served no purpose 
except to intensify the spirit of faction, and to array the 
contending parties more bitterly against each other. The 

1 AlluiU's to "Canada and the Canada Bill," containing these 


state of affairs seemed hopeless, for the Constitution itself 
was manifestly unequal to the task imposed upon it. 

I will also add extracts from another historian, 
Mr. MacMullen. 1 He says, speaking of the excite- 
ment attending the debates upon the Rebellion Losses 
Bill (1849), which preceded the riots and burning 
of the Houses of Parliament in Montreal 

To escape from French domination, as it was termed, the 
more violent Tory members of the Conservative party declared 
that they were prepared to go any lengths even to annexation 
with the United States, a measure which in the passionate 
excitement of the moment was openly advocated. It was a 
rash proceeding, and forms a mortifying epoch in the history of 
Canadian parties. 

Again, alluding to the year 1859, Mr. MacMullen 
says : 

In November a great gathering of the leaders of the Reform 
party took place at Toronto. 

The conclusion was arrived at that the union of Upper and 
Lower Canada had failed to realise the intentions of its pro- 
moters, that the constitution itself was defective, and that the 
formation of two or more local Governments with some joint 
authority over all had now become a paramount necessity. 

Again, describing the absolute deadlock which 
occurred in the working of the Government in 1864, 

he says : 

Faction had now literally exhausted itself. The public 
affairs of the country were completely at a standstill, and for 
the moment it seemed as if constitutional government had 
finally ended in a total failure. 

Repeated changes of Cabinets had been tried, dissolutions 
of Parliament had been resorted to, every constitutional specific 

1 MacMullen's " History of Canada," pp. 506-507, 549, 570-571, 589. 



had been tested, but all alike had failed to unravel the Gordian 
knot which party spirit had tied >o firmly round the destinies 
of this province. 

The public stood aghast at this state of things, while the 
lovers of British constitutional government regarded the 
extraordinary situation with unlimited dismay. . . . The 
leading minds of the country naturally applied themselvt 
this juncture to discover some mode of escape from the danger- 
ous difficulties of the public situation. . . . 

. . . The negotiations which now ensued between the rival 
political leaders speedily resulted in a satisfactory under- 
standing, based upon a project of confederation of all the 
British North American Provinces, on the federal principle, 
and leaving to each province the settlement by local legislation of 
its own municipal and peculiar affairs. . . . Thus a strong Coali- 
tion Government was formed to carry out the newly accepted 
policy of confederation, and though extreme parties here and 
there grumbled at these arrangements, the great body of the 
people of all shades of opinion, thankful that the dangerous 
crisis had been safely passed, gladly accepted the situation and 
calmly and confidently awaited the progress of events. Never 
before had a coalition been more opportune. It would seem 
indeed as if a special Providence was controlling matters for 
own wise purposes. . . . 

Mius the threatening peril was averted, and to 
quote for the last time on this subject 

The great project of confederation was (on the 20th May 
1867) at length finally and happily completed, and the morning 
voice of a new people (the Dominion of Canada) was heard 
among the nations of the earth. 

What might have been the result of the state of 
matters above described, had the partial union con- 
tinued longer, and the able and patriotic statesman- 
ship of Sir John Macdonald or some later statesman 
been unable at a time of difficulty to carry through 
the scheme of confederation, who shall say ? 


By the Confederation Act l the Dominion of 
Canada was divided into four distinct provinces, viz., 
Ontario (formerly Upper Canada), Quebec (formerly 
Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 
each province to have its separate Legislature for 
local purposes, and the existing limits of each to 
remain undisturbed. 

To these, since 1867, have been added Prince 
Edward Island, British Columbia, and Manitoba, 
with the North-West Provinces. 

In what I have said above, it has not been my 
object to imply that any of the proposals short of 
a larger confederation than that of the two Canadas 
would certainly have been attended with greater 
success than the smaller union. 

This no one can say. There were drawbacks to 
all, such as would possibly have led to opposition and 
failure. The partial union also had, together with 
its drawbacks and dangers, this advantage that it 
prepared the public mind for the larger and more 
complete measure. 

My desire has been simply to show in what my 
father's objections to the " Union Bill " of 23rd June 
1839, as urged in " Canada and the Canada Bill," 
consisted, and to point out that, with the exception 
of the main measure of the union, the alterations 
which he advised in this Bill, and which were many, 
were nearly all adopted before it became an Act in 
1840 ; that the embarrassment and danger which he 
anticipated from the main measure itself, i.e. of the 
union of the two provinces only, were not imaginary 
but very real ; that the solution of them was happily 

1 Styled " The British North America Act, 1867." 


sought in the Confederation of all the British pro- 
vinces, a measure the assumed dangers of which he 
had never dreaded, which he had long considered the 
best solution, and which he had in vain strenuously 
advocated forty-five years before it was adopted. 

So much is due to his memory. 

Whether before his death in January 1863, he 
had convinced himself, from the trend of public 
opinion in its favour, that the larger scheme of 
Confederation would be certainly carried out, as it 
was four years afterwards, in 1867, I cannot say, 
but as he had always so earnestly advocated the 
measure I hope this may have been so. 

After ceasing, in 1841, to have any connection 
with politics, his judicial duties entirely absorbed his 
time and thoughts, and I cannot recollect his ever 
speaking upon this matter. 

In 1849, the North American League was formed 
in Toronto to promote the measure, and in 1854 (also 
in 1861) Nova Scotia passed resolutions in favour 
of it. 

In 1859 the Governor-General of Canada stated, 
on opening Parliament, that the project of a union 
of all British North America had formed the subject 
of a correspondence w T ith the Home Government. 
But it was not until 1863, a few months after my 
father's death, that Canada joined with Nova Scotia 
and the Maritime Provinces to urge its adoption. 

I give here a memorandum of which the rough 
draft was found among his papers bearing upon the 
Colonial policy of the Home Government as to the 
North American Colonies existing about the time of 
his death, and which may be said to now prevail. 
This was evidently written by him about the time 


that the policy of withdrawing the Imperial troops 
from Canada afterwards carried out was generally 
spoken of as that of the Home Government : 1 - 

The British Government, by their conduct since 1840, 
seem to say this to the North American Colonies : 

You are large countries, growing very rapidly, and sure to 
contain before long some millions of inhabitants. 

We believe that whenever it may suit you to rebel, you 
will rebel. 

We are resolved not to add millions to our national debt 
by attempting to maintain your connection with us by force, 
especially at the expense of a war with your powerful neigh- 
bours, which such a struggle would probably lead to. 

If you are ever to separate, we had rather you separated 
before we spend more millions on maintaining troops and 
garrisons among you. 

Moreover, we have no dread about hastening the period of 
separation, because we take a different view now from that 
which used to be taken of the uses and advantages of colonies. 

We now believe that there ought to be no friendship in 
trade. We are convinced that both we and you should buy 
and sell wherever we can do it to the most advantage, and that 
we should allow any one to carry for us cheaper than we can 
carry for each other, and for ourselves. 

In order then that you may see the sooner your true position, 
we will begin the separation on our part by rebelling against 
the principle of mutual obligation, which has hitherto been 
held to be the consequence of allegiance. 

We shall withdraw our troops from the Colonies, and pay 
no part of the expense attending the maintenance of a connec- 
tion which we look upon as no affair of ours, but one that 
only concerns you. 

All that we propose to do hereafter is to appoint your 
Governor as we have hitherto done, and as we do not intend 

1 Though the policy of making the self-governing colonies responsible 
for their own defence was introduced about 1862, the troops were not 
actually withdrawn from Canada till 1870. 


him to perform any of the functions of government for the 
Colony (but to be merely our agent for reporting to us what is 
done by the Assembly, whom we intend shall be the ivul rulers), 
we shall not object to paying his salary onr>el\r-. 

He will be instructed by us to let the majority do as they 
like, unless they should plainly propose to break the connection 
with the Mother Country, in which case any Bill which shall be 
presented to them for such a purpose is to be reserved for our 
consideration, and not assented to at once the probability, 
however, being that we should not disallow it. 

Such is now the colonial relation, and such is the disposi- 
tion ot mankind, that I question whether, after all, the connec- 
tion may not endure longer under such an understanding than 
under any other. 

An impatient horse, tied near a precipice, will pull and 
struggle in all directions to get free, not regarding the risk he 
may run of precipitating himself over the brink. But if he 
were turned out to provide for himself, he would be in no such 
danger. He would gra/.e near the edge, but having nothing to 
pull against, and being left at liberty to go where he pleased, 
he would not choose to break his neck. 

Evidently he did not anticipate that the new 
policy would tend to separation. 

With what pleasure he would have seen the 
British provinces forming the Dominion of Canada 
to-day ! 

Confederated, contented, prosperous, with their 
value more and more appreciated by the Mother 
Country, and evincing a loyalty and devotion to her 
in war and peace which the trials and responsibilities 
born of empire have served only to deepen and 
strengthen ! 



English interest in Canadian questions Visits to Sir F. Head and Sir 
Robert Peel Letter from the latter Destruction of St. James' 
Church, Toronto Durham report Visit to Sir Wilmot Horton 
Mrs. Jameson's book Interview with the Duke of Wellington 
Defences of Canada, &c. Views of 1822 as to the union unchanged 
The Queen's ladies Resignation of the Ministry Apsley House 
Appointed by Legislative Council to represent interests of Canada 
Dinner with Cordwainers' Company Sir W. Follett and Lord 
Lyndhurst as to American prisoners Interview with Lord Normanby 
and Lord J. Russell Soiree at Thomas Campbell's Consecration of 
Dr. Strachan Letter from Sir George Arthur Obtains extension of 

MY father's journal and correspondence while in 
England between 1838 and 1840 from which 
in the next two chapters I give many extracts-^- 
show that his time and thoughts were almost 
continuously occupied throughout this period with 
public questions connected with the Canadas then 
under the consideration of the Imperial Govern- 
ment : such as the recommendations of the Durham 
report, and the proposed union of the Upper and 
Lower Provinces ; the Clergy Reserves ; and the 
course to be pursued with the American prisoners 
taken in the Canadian Rebellion. What I have said 
in previous chapters will, I hope, enable his references 
to these subjects to be now fully understood. 

Although colonial matters sixty years ago aroused 
far less interest in England in ordinary times than 
they do at the present day, the circumstances of the 



moment had brought Canadian subjects into excep- 
tional prominence there. 

The course which leading men in politics Sir 
Robert Peel, the Duke of Wellington, Lord .John 
Russell, Lord Lyndhurst, and others would take 
upon Canadian questions, and the possibility of the 
defeat of the Ministry upon its Canadian policy, were 
the subjects of discussion in public and private ; the 
attention of those in political life was much directed 
to them ; and it was felt that with the future ad- 
ministration of the British-American Colonies im- 
portant Imperial interests were bound up. 

The views of Sir Robert Peel as to the union of 
the Upper and Lower Provinces of Canada were not 
disclosed for a long time, but eventually he advocated 
it. The Duke of Wellington and Lord Lyndhurst 
opposed it ; Lord John Russell, who had introduced 
the Bill in June 1839, was its leading supporter. 

Sir Herbert Maxwell, in his " Life of Welling- 
ton," says : 

The course taken by Sir Robert Peel on the union of the 
Canaclas was the occasion of a fresh difference (with the Duke 
of Wellington), and all intercourse L ceased between them. 

My father's presence in England at this period, 
and his knowledge of and position in Canada, led to 
his being constantly referred to upon Canadian topics 
by members of the Government and others. 

He had several times to come up to London from 
Cheltenham, Brighton, &c., to keep appointments at 
the Colonial Office and with public men. 

It was often with inconvenience and some risk to 

1 The meaning of this, no doubt, is that all intercourse for a time 
ceased between them. 


himself that these journeys were made, as his health, 
especially at first, was far from good, and he really 
required rest and freedom from work ; but when he 
thought he might be of use to Canada by imparting 
the information which he possessed to those who 
desired and had a right to obtain it, he never spared 

Sometimes he came to town alone, leaving his 
family in the country, and sometimes with my mother 
and others. 

Much attention, both of a public and private 
character, was shown to him in London, particularly 
by the Duke of Wellington, who was thoroughly 
versed in all Canadian matters, and the kindness and 
hospitality he met with as coming from Canada were 

As everything associated with the great Duke has 
an interest of its own, I have quoted rather largely in 
this chapter from my father's references to conversa- 
tions, &c., with him. 

To Sir Robert Peel he paid two visits at Drayton 

He received great kindness from Sir Robert 
Harry Inglis, member for Oxford, a strong Conser- 
vative and earnest Churchman, widely known and 
respected by men of all shades of opinion, and whose 
friendship he especially valued. 1 

Sir Wilmot Horton he met constantly, their ac- 
quaintance having been kept up since 1822, when he 
was Mr. Wilmot, and its cordiality not having been 
lessened by their difference of view as to the union. 

He was also often with Lord Lyndhurst, whom 

1 See entry in my father's Journal for 5th May 1855, chap. xiv. 


he had met in previous years, when Mr. Copley ; 
witli the Bishop of Exeter (Phillpotts) ; Mr. (after- 
wards Sir John) Pakington, 1 Lord Seaton, Sir 
Francis Head, and Sir Peregrine Maitlaml, all of 
whom were then in England, and naturally deeply 
interested in Canadian topics. 

With some of the above, a correspondence more 
or less constant was kept up by him throughout 

When he reached England, the Merrys, my 
mother's relations, were at 5 Lansdowne Terrace, 
Cheltenham, where they lived when not at High- 
lands in Berkshire, and this led to his going first to 
Cheltenham, where he took a house (7 Lansdowne 
Place), and then reported himself personally at the 
Colonial Office. Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State 
for the Colonies, being out of London, he returned 
to Cheltenham, and, in December 1838, was vet- 
ting out with my mother and two of my sisters 
for Atherstone in Warwickshire upon a visit to Sir 
Francis and Lady Head, when a request was re- 
ceived from Lord Glenelg that, if his health per- 
mitted, he would come to town immediately, 
the mail steamer, taking official letters to Canada. 
with reference to which he wished to see him, was 
to sail in three or four day^. 

Leaving the others at Birmingham to go on 
without him to Atherstone, he took the train thence 
to London. 

These were the early days of railways. The 
journey - - 113 miles owing to unexpected and 

1 Mr. 1'akinirtcMi was created a baronet in 1846, and raised to the 
peerage as Lord Hampton in 1H74 ; died 1880. 


vexatious delays, took many hours longer than had 
been anticipated, and he did not reach town till 

I was very cold, he writes in his Journal, and not being well, 
suffered a good deal. 

After seeing Lord Glenelg and Sir George Grey, 
he called upon Lord Durham in Cleveland Row and 
had a short conversation with him. 

He looked ill and anxious, and talked chiefly of past occur- 
rences which had occasioned him to return, and did not seem 
inclined to enter into any account of what measures he intended 
to recommend. 

When, after this, he had rejoined my mother at 
Sir Francis Head's, Sir Robert Peel invited both him 
and Sir Francis to dine and stay the night at Drayton 
Manor, about eight miles from Ather stone. 

Writing to Dr. Strachan on 24th January 1839, 
he mentions this visit : 

Sir Robert was quite alone, except Lady Peel, and a re- 
markably fine family of children. 

We sat up till twelve o'clock, talking of Canada principally, 
and returned to Atherstone about midday the next day. Be- 
fore I left him he expressed a wish that I should pay him 
another visit the following week, when, he said, he expected the 
Duke of Wellington. 

On that occasion I spent two nights, and nearly three days 
there. The Duke was detained at home by a cold, but Lord 
Sandon, Lord Stanley, the Duke of Rutland, General Alava, 
Lord Hill, Mr. Arbuthnot, Lord Wilton, Sir Henry Hardinge, 
Lord Fitz Roy Somerset, and several others were there. My 
visit was made agreeable in every way, though I was not well 
enough to join in any amusement out of doors. 

Of those mentioned above, Lord Hill, Sir Henry 


Hardinge, and Lord Fitz Roy Somerset (afterwards 
Lord Raglan) are well known in connection with 
the campaigns of the Peninsula, India, and the 
Crimea. Mr. Arbuthnot was private secretary to 
the Duke of Wellington and lived much with him. 
General Alava was a Spanish officer of distinction, 
who having been attached to the British head- 
quarters at Waterloo, and also fought in the Spanish 
navy at Trafalgar, is said to have been the only 
individual known to have been present at both these 
great battles. 

Sir Robert Peel writes to my father. January 10, 
1839, from Dray ton Manor: 

MY DKAK SIR, I very much regretted that the necessity of 
constant attention to a large party of guests left me little 
leisure, when you last favoured me with your company at Dray- 
ton Manor, for free communication with you on much more 
important and interesting matters. 

I do not think you will find yourself practically in an em- 
barrassing situation in consequence of any course you may take 
in reference to Canadian affairs, or any interviews you may 
have with men of different political parties here. It will be 
universally acknowledged that nothing could be more natural 
than that you should adhere in this country to the intimacies 
and friendships, which the agreement in principle and the sense 
of common danger were so likely to cement in Upper Canada, 
and that nothing could be more useful to the province than 
that you should disregard the political and party differences 
which divide us, and seek to impart and impress upon all public 
men here those opinions which experience in Canadian affairs 
and the advantage of local knowledge and connection have 
cMititled you to form. 

I for one shall be most happy to communicate with you 
without reserve, having the fullest confidence in your ability, 
integrity, and attachment to the interests both of the pro- 


vinces of which you are an ornament and of the Mother 

It appears to me that the time has come when the Execu- 
tive Government of this country must, without the delay of 
a month, pronounce some decisive and intelligible opinion 
respecting the whole of the Canadian questions. 

My opinion is that the Government ought to declare on 
the part of the sovereign power of this country 

First. Its determination, at all hazards, to maintain the 
connection with its British North American Colonies, and to 
send such a force there as should enable it to insist upon the 
observance of the first principles of j ustice by the United States ; 
not only by those who are called, by courtesy, the Government 
of the United States, but by the people of that country. 

My belief is that this is the only way of averting war with 
the United States, as a consequence of American piracy and 
depredation ; and that the fear of a powerful military force in 
the Canadas, ready to act aggressively in the event of hostility, 
is almost the only stimulus that can be applied to effectual 
exertion on the part of the United States to check invasions 
which cannot be tolerated by this country without public 
dishonour to her. 

Secondly. I think the Government should avow that they 
will not permit any longer the forms and privileges of a free 
Constitution and representative Government to be perverted, 
in Lower Canada, from the object for which they were granted 
to the systematic destruction of British interests and the 
undermining of British authority ; that they intend to act, 
without any revengeful feeling for the past, with justice and 
impartiality to all, so far as all legal rights as distinguished 
from favour and confidence are concerned ; but that they will 
execute their resolution of maintaining British authority and 
defeating treasonable designs openly and frankly r , taking boldly 
all such power as is necessary for the purpose, and not seeking 
to hide their design under the cover and pretence of re- 
establishing a popular Government to be hereafter thwarted and 
defeated by indirect means. There is much less injury done to 
that form of Government by the frank avowal that it is 


unsuitable in a certain case, than by pretending to establish it 
in form but refusing it in substance. 

Thirdly. I would avow that this opportunity should be 
taken of giving to the Upper Province those facilities for com- 
mercial enterprise and free intercourse with other countries, 
which nature seems to have assigned to her, but of which she 
is at present deprived by legislative enactments now fairly open 
to review. 1 

... I can easily believe that the details for executing these 
leading principles would require the most careful consideration. 
In many cases it is very unwise to announce a principle without 
being fully prepared to execute it in all its details, but in the 
of the Canadas I doubt much whether the best mode of 
obviating the difficulties of detail would not be a decisive 
declaration that the British Parliament had made uj> its mind 
to do certain things, and would proceed to do them. The 
minds of men, ministers, and others, will then be applied to 
the consideration of the best mode of executing that which is 
in principle resolved upon, which they will not be while every- 
thing is left in uncertainty by the appointment of fresh com- 
missions, anil the institution of interminable inquiries, the 
Government appearing to have no opinion, or, as is probably 
the truth, having none. Believe me, my dear sir, with great 
esteem, very faithfully yours, ROBERT PEKL. 

In a letter to Dr. Strachan of February 10th, my 
father say s : 

To-morrow morning I go to London. The report of Lord 
Durham is to be laid before the House, and in the meantime 
it has, nobody knows how, found its way into the Times. I 
have only seen part of it. 

And he thus alludes to the burning of the 
church of St. James, the present cathedral church 

1 Alludes apparently to the dividing line between the provinces 
having deprived I'pper Canada of a >eajort see chap, ix.), and the fiscal 
difficulties which this entailed upon her. 


of Toronto, on 7th January 1839, of which he had 
recently heard. 1 

We have all felt deeply the destruction of our excellent 
church. Pray, in any of your measures, reckon upon me as 
one who will go the full length with the most zealous of your 
parishioners. You have need of all your fortitude and unyield- 
ing spirit, and I pray God it may fully support you under your 
trials of every description. 

Between February llth and the end of March 
1839 he was alone in London, staying at the 
Spring Gardens Hotel, and much occupied with an 
examination of Lord Durham's report. 

On the 22nd February he writes to my mother : 

Since Tuesday morning I have literally been a hermit in 
London, seeing nothing, and being seen of none, when I could 
help it. 

That Report! When I read the 119 folio pages I hardly 
found a passage I did not burn to expose. 

On Tuesday I took it up, and commenced the criticism in a 
connected form, and after two days' hard work, on Wednesday 
night I found I had got to page 27 out of 119. 

How it worried me ! so much to say ; such a wish to 
shorten it. 

But while I was taking a stroll in St. James's Park, my good 
genius whispered "Work at it leisurely at Cheltenham or 
elsewhere, but now go at the main point, the Recommendations" 

It was clearly the right course. I could thus make a 
readable paper of moderate length, and could have it forthwith. 

Yesterday morning, at half-past nine, I commenced my 
intended letter to Lord Normanby, and precisely at 12 (mid- 
night), having stopped half-an-hour for dinner, I had the 
satisfaction of writing " I have the honour to be, 11 &c. 

I believe I never in my life went through a harder day's 
work of the same kind. 

1 An appeal for funds to rebuild this church was liberally met, and it 
was re-erected by December in the same year. 


When I deliver in the paper I shall stand acquitted in my 
conscience, happen what may. 

He also wrote to my mother on 18th February 
1839 : 

I was picked up on Saturday at Mr. TuffheUX Sir \V. 
Morton's son-in-law, in Cavendish Square, and when I stepped 
into the carriage to join Sir W. and Lady Horton, saw on the 
front seat a large square black box, and by the side of it, who 
do you think ? but Anna herself. 1 

She looked, I assure you, a conscience-smitten caitiff. I told 
her it was fair to apprise her that I was engaged in reviewing 
her book. 

She was for some years in Lord Hathertoifs family, and as 
Lord H. was on a visit to the Hortons, they asked her down 
to meet him. 

Mr. and Mrs. Carleton were there. She is a sister of Sir 
W. Horton, and he is a son of old Lord Dorchester, the first 
Governor-General of Canada. 

Then we had a Miss Brown lee, who tried her hand at 
sketching me, whether with more success than Mr. Dighton 2 I 
cannot say. 

Uoth Sir W. and Lady Horton express much desire to see 
you and the girls. I have promised a visit for you, and can 
answer for its being a most agreeable one. 

Returning to Cheltenham by the 1st April, he 
came again to town on the 17th with my mother and 
eldest sister, taking lodgings at 3 Spring Gardens, 
and on the *24th the rest of the family joined them. 

About this time his leave was extended by the 
Secretary of State for six months longer, and in 
informing him of this Mr. Labouchere added : 

1 Anna Jameson, married to Vire-( hancellor Jameson, of Upper Canada, 
and authoress of "Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada" (1&38), 
in which Toronto society had been discussed and my father spoken of as 
having " a fine head and acute features, and the most pleasing, insinuating 
voice 1 have ever heard." 

2 A water-colour sketch of my father, seated at his library table, had 
been taken by a Mr. Dighton at Cheltenham. 


I am desired to acquaint you that Lord Normanby is happy 
to have it in his power, by acceding to your request, to express, 
in however slight a manner, the respect which he entertains for 
yourself personally, and the estimation in which he holds your 

I now quote from his Journal : 

%9th April 1839. I received a note from Mr. Arbuthnot 
saying that the Duke of Wellington had asked if I did not 
mean to call upon him. He said the Duke would be glad to 
see me any day at twelve, except Tuesday. 

\st May. I called on the Duke at twelve o'clock, and was 
with him about an hour. 

I had sent him some days before a letter from Sir John 
Colborne, containing his ideas of the state of Lower Canada, 
and of what ought to be done by Parliament. He had also 
had copies of my letters to Lord Normanby on Lord Durham's 
report ; on the measures necessary for the future government 
of Canada ; and on the measures for restoring confidence and 
security to Canada. 

Before going further it may be as well here to 
say that my father had urged in the letters above 
mentioned, and to which I have alluded in the last 
chapter, that nothing would more effectually stop 
the troubles on the Canadian frontier than a clear 
announcement in the British Parliament that Great 
Britain was determined to maintain her connection 
with her Colonies, putting forth, if necessary, all her 
strength to that end ; and that foreign Governments 
should be left in no doubt that in making war upon 
any portion of the British Empire they were making 
war on Great Britain. 

The policy he advocated had in fact much in 
common with that which Sir Robert Peel was in 
favour of (see his letter of 10th January 1839, already 


in this chapter), but as to which there existed 
a strong impression that the Government would 
not be bold enough to carry it out. The existence 
abroad of this impression, from whatever cause it had 
arisen, and whether right or wrong, had, he thought, 
largely contributed to produce what had occurred. 

The measures of defence which he advocated have 
been touched upon in chapter iii., in connection with 
the American War. 

With respect to the American and other foreign 
invaders of Canadian territory during the Rebellion, 
he considered that their liability to trial by military 
tribunals (see chapter viii.) was essential, but with 
regard to certain prisoners taken after the cannonad- 
ing of Amherstburg, and the killing and wounding 
of British soldiers, that the best effect would be 
produced by sending them to England to answer 
there to the Crown for their offences. 

It must be explained that at this time the extra- 
dition treaties with the United States, which had 
their origin largely in the events on the Canadian 
border in 1837-38, did not exist. 

Journal continued. 

The Duke was looking remarkably well and cheerful. 

It was his birthday (1st May), and he had completed his 
seventieth year. He began by returning me Sir J. Colborne's 
letter, and laying my letter on the defence, &c., of the provinces 
before him on the table, and then said (referring to an expres- 
sion of Sir J. Colborne's that the St. Lawrence should be made 
an "imperial river 1 ' 1 ), 

Great Britain has given to these provinces each a separate 
Legislature, and they have certain terms and conditions which 
they wished and desired respecting the trade and navigation of 
the river, and you do nothing for them by merely saying it 


shall be an "imperial river." You must show them how their 
interests are to stand, and why not do that at once now by 
your measure ? 

After a time he pointed to my paper which was on the 
table, and said : 

I have read your paper every word of it and have con- 
sidered it well. The subject is not new to me. I suggested 
twenty years ago the measures that I thought should be taken 
for the defence of the Canadas. I was then Master-General of 
the Ordnance, and I made it my business to acquaint myself 
with the particular position and geography of the provinces. 
I remember the whole matter perfectly. I am sure that I could 
now, from this room, give directions for posting an army at 
Burlington Heights. 

You speak also of Penetanguishene. I remember I was 
most anxious that that should be made a strong and important 

I agree in all you say about the measures that ought to be 
taken with the American Government, and about the disposal 
of their people when made prisoners. You are right in every- 
thing, but mind, I tell you, the Ministers will do nothing what- 
ever respecting this. 

Your paper, my dear sir, was written for a different country, 
for a different state of things altogether. Your paper was 
written for " Old England," but this is not " Old England," 
nor anything like it. I speak of what I remember, but you 
must see yourself that everything is totally changed. 

I venture to say that you will not be able to get them to 
look at that paper; no, nor upon anything of the colour of 
that paper. 

The whole now is a miserable party warfare, in which all the 
grand interests of the nation are sunk. If the people in Down- 
ing Street tell you that they could do anything for the Colonies, 
such as you point out, don't believe them. They can do 
nothing of the kind. They are under an influence that will 
not allow them to do it. 

See what the Government are now doing in this Jamaica 
question. I say to the West Indian people, if these measures 


are carried, my advice to you is, sell your property if you can 
and leave the country ; and, if you can't sell your property. >till 
you had better leave the country, and go into the first En<r|i>h 
workhouse that will receive you, for there, at any rate, your life 
will be safe. 

Now, sir, I tell you, that the Government will do nothing 
of the kind that you there point out to them. They can't do 
it, the time for looking at great questions in this way is gone 
by. Look at the language the Government has always held 
about the affairs in Canada ; they have never made the 
Queen say more, in effect, than that she will support those 
who support her. It is not merely because some of her 
subjects there have behaved well that the support should be 
given. It's because her Empire has been attacked that's 
the reason. 

This is but a small part of what he said. His conversation 
was very interesting. His manner was animated and warm, his 
voice occasionally loud. His eye particularly kind and intelli- 
gent, but his hearing is a little difficult. One cannot so readily 
<li.tnt.vjf a matter with him as with a younger man. 

I could not but look upon him with intense interest while 
he was speaking his honest language, his open bearing, and 
then the recollection of the career he had had. 

In connection with the measures suggested by the 
Duke of Wellington for the defence of the Canadas, 
which (so far as I am aware) have not been made 
public, the following letter l written by Lord Stanley 
to Sir Robert Peel, a few years later than the date on 
which the above entry in my father's Journal was 
made, has an interest : 

" \-lth August l4.x 

I send you I dare not send the Duke what appears to 

1 "Sir Robert Peel from his Private Papers "edited for bis trustees 
by C. S. Parker (1899), vol. iii. p. 216. 


me a very wild letter from Lord Metcalfe l on the chances of 
war with the United States, and the course to be pursued. 

I am clearly of opinion (contrary to his) that in such an 
event, our operations on the Canadian frontier must be purely 
defensive. It must, however, be admitted that in Canada, as 
elsewhere, our defensive works are sadly deficient. Whenever 
I have touched upon the question with the Duke, he always 
refers back to a plan laid down by himself in 1826, the expense 
of which was so enormous that all Governments have deferred 
acting upon it. 

Journal continued. 

May 1839. Dined at Lord WharnclifiVs, where I met, 
with others, Lord Harrowby and Lord Aberdeen. I had, at 
dinner and after, a good deal of conversation with Lord Aber- 
deen respecting Canada. He spoke strongly against the union. 

4tth May. I now see that Ministers have announced their 
measure ; a royal message was delivered in each House, recom- 
mending a legislative union. After twelve o'clock I called on 
Sir Robert Peel by appointment. He tells me that the West 
India debate stands for Monday, and that the Canada business 
is further postponed till Wednesday. 

I can consistently repeat my objections to the union, for I 
have never changed my view of the subject. My letter to the 
Secretary of State in 1822 contains what I still think, only 
that all that has since occurred strengthens my repugnance to 
the measure. 2 

7th May. Mr. Amyott called, and told me the result of 
last night's debate upon the Jamaica Bill. Ministers had only 
five of a majority. I inferred that they must go out, 3 and the 
surmise was strengthened by my getting a note from Mr. Edward 
Ellice, with whom I was to dine to-day, saying that " some- 
thing unexpected had occurred " and begging me not to come. 

1 Lord Metcalfe was Governor-General of Canada 1843-47. 

2 See chap. vi. and chap. ix. 

a The Bill for the suspension of the constitution in Jamaica, where the 
Assembly had declared against Imperial interference or control, being 
only carried by five votes, the Ministry resigned, being disinclined with 
so narrow a majority in favour of their policy to deal with the Jamaica 


At Bight O'clock the newsmen WIMV iT\ing about tin- str 

mill edition of t lit- ('ouritt\ and the roi^nat ion of Lord 
Melbourne and the Ministry. 

Hth May. Dined tit Lord Lvndluirsrs. Lord Hroiighum 
was there in full dre>>, meaning to go in the evening to 
Cambridge House. Dark-coloured coat with metal buttons, a 
white satin waist roat sprigged, purple-coloured breeches, white 
stockings, and a sword. lie talked incessant >niall talk. 

Lord Lyndhurst has since told me that he knew then of the 
(<)ueeifs refusal to part with her ladies, and that Lord Mel- 
bourne's Ministr\ was in again. I observed him .serious, but 
attributed it to quite the opposite cause to the true one. 

This incident caused some stir at the time. Sir 
Robert Peel, who was called upon to form a new 
Government upon the resignation of Lord Melbourne's 
Ministry, considered that in the case of a reigning 
Queen, as distinguished from a Queen the consort of 
a King, the Prime Minister could not have due 
weight with the Sovereign unless the chief ladies of 
the Household (whose near male relatives belonged 
to the out-going Government) changed with the 
(.overnment. Lord Melbourne thought this un- 
necessary. The Queen was naturally averse to it. 
The Duke of Wellington considered that it was 
constitutionally desirable, a view not popular at the 
time. It was arranged eventually that Lord Mel- 
bourne's Ministry should resume office. 

13th June. To-night the Canada Bill is to be introduced, 
and a debate will take place at which I cannot he present, but 
it will not be the discussion which will determine the vote. 

\4>th June. I went in the morning to Mr. Pakington, and 
had much conversation with him regarding the Clergy 
Reserves, \c. 

\8th June. Sir Peregrine Maitland with me to-day. 


19th June. Went with Emily, Louisa, and William 
Boulton to Woolwich and Greenwich, and spent a pleasant 
day seeing the sights there. 

On my return I found a kind note from the Duke of 
Wellington asking me to bring Mrs. Robinson and my family 
to-morrow at four o'clock to see his trophies, &c., in Apsley 
House. The Duke also asked me to dine with him that day at 
half-past seven. 

20th June. At four o'clock went with Emma, William 
Boulton, John, Emily, Augusta, and Louisa 1 to Apsley House. 
The Duke came down and received us, and most kindly showed 
us over his house. 

The table for our dinner to-night was set out with his 
magnificent service of plate from the kingdom of Portugal, and 
there was the noble golden shield and candelabra presented by 
the bankers and merchants of London. 

He showed us his paintings, a very fine Correggio, " Christ 
in the Garden, 1 ' which he says is one of the finest, if not the 
finest, painting in England. It is striking a small picture. 

It was most delightful to us all to have the Duke of Welling- 
ton pointing out to us the different portraits of Buonaparte. 
My little ones were charmed. 

The Duke explained to us how embarrassing the Portuguese 
plate had been to him. The plateau for the great ornament 
was so large that he had first to make a table for it, then 
a room to hold the table, and to get this room he had to 
pull down the park front of his house, and add many feet 
to it. " Confound the plateau " (he said), " it cost me a great 
deal of money." 

It made him improve his house, however. It is now 

About thirty dined. I sat between Lord Maryboro' and 
Lady Fitz Roy Somerset, his daughter. Lord Maryboro' I had 
much talk with. He seems a stiff, unbending Conservative. 

1 These were my mother, William Boulton, of the Grange, Toronto, 
my brother John Beverley, and my sisters (afterwards Mrs. Lefroy, Mrs. 
Strachan, and Mrs. Allan). 


After dinner I talked with the Duchess of Richmond, her 
son the Duke, Lord Fit/, Hoy Somerset, and the Duke of 
Wellington. The Duke spoke much of aiiairs here and in 
Canada, and is clear and impressive in all he says. 

%4>th June. Received to-day the resolution of the Legis- 
lative Council of Upper Canada requesting me to " represent 
generally the interests of the proviiu 

C 26th Jum. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress called for 
Mrs. Robinson, and took us down in their carriage to Rich- 
mond to dine with the " Worshipful Company of Cordwaii 
at the "Star and Garter" at three o'clock. \Ve sat down to 
dinner at four, a large party, and drove hack to town at eight. 

SXth June. This evening Dr. St.rachan arrived from 
Toronto. 1 

This morning Mr. Pakington sent me the Union Rill, 
which had been brought in and printed yesterday. I had not 
seen a word of this Rill before. 

Sunday , JJ(V// June. Went with Dr. Strachan, after church 
(at Cur/on Chapel), to call on Bishop Inglis not at home 
and on Gillespie, whom we saw. 2 

I dined at Lord Wilton's, 7 Grosvenor Square. Old 
General Alava, the Duke of Wellington, Duchess of Beaufort, 
Lord Jersey, Lord and Lady Lyndhurst, Lord Brougham, Lord 
and I^ady Stanley, Lord and Lady Mahon. :: 

I sat between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Mahon. 
We had much conversation about Canada, the proposed union, 
parties here, &c. 

Good joke of Lord Brougham's when some one said that 
Lord Glenelg, when he did work, was an able man. " When 
he did work ! " said Brougham ; " that reminds me of what 
I once read in some natural history book, that when an ox 
docs give milk, he gives more than two cows." 

1 Dr. Strachau had come to England to be consecrated as the first 
Hi>hop of Toronto, and returned to Canada in the autumn. 

- Hishop Inglis was the first Bishop of Nova Scotia consecrated 1827. 
Mr. Gillespie was probably from Montreal. 

3 Afterwards Karl Stanhope, author of " Conversations with the Duke 
of Wellington " (1889). 


Sydney Smith saying, when Landseer proposed to make 
a portrait of him, " Is thy servant a dog ? " 

\st July. Sir Francis Head called. I received a satisfac- 
tory note from Sir W. Follett l at Brighton, respecting the 
American invaders. He quite agrees with me. 

%nd July. I called on Lord Lyndhurst, and had a conver- 
sation respecting the legal point about the American invaders. 
He is to show the draft of my letter to him to Brougham, and 
converse with him upon it. 

He inclines, though not confidently, to the opinion that the 
invaders of Point Pele Island might be prosecuted for murder. 

In the evening I went to the House of Lords to hear the 
debate on the Jamaica Bill in Committee. Lord Lyndhurst 
began the discussion. Lord Brougham spoke, also Lords 
Normanby, Melbourne, Glenelg, Mansfield, St. Vincent, Sea- 
forth, and Ellenborough. Lord Melbourne hesitates extremely. 
None of the Bishops spoke. Daniel Webster was there. 2 

3rd July. Breakfasted with Sir Robert Inglis Sir R. W. 
Horton, Archdeacon Strachan, the Dean of Christ Church, his 
son, and W. Boulton were of the party. We had much talk 
about emigration. 

At half-past five I went to Lord Normanby by appoint- 

We spoke of the Union Bill. I tpld__him_jthat the five 
inferior legislatures 3 were not wanted in Upper Canada, and 
would be mischievous there and everywhere ; that they were 
un-English, and would plunge us into a perpetual round of 
elections ; and that, besides this, a power to tax without limit 
was not to be trusted to a single body chosen annually. 

He seemed to agree in all. 

I then spoke of the Welland Canal Reserved Bill, and was 
speaking of the finances of Upper Canada when Lord John 
Russell came in, and entered into conversation with me on 

1 The Solicitor-General. 

2 The well-known American statesman. 

3 Refers to the " Elective Councils " which it was intended to have 
in each of the five proposed districts (see chap. ix.). These were after- 
wards withdrawn from the Bill. 


various points, but particularly as regarded the American 
prisoners, and he intimated that it was in contemplation to let 
them go, on the undertaking not to return to America. I told 
him that, as to their not going to Canada, if that were made a 
condition of their pardon, it could be enforced, but that the 
other could not ; that it was wrong to have left the colony to 
punish them as if their offence was only against the municipal 
laws of Upper Canada ; that they should have been at once 
taught that their offence was against the British Crown, and I 
referred to my letter of 29th March to Lord Normanby on this 

During July and August 1839 my father and all 
his party were much at Highlands with the Merrys, 
and at Brighton (47 Old Steyne), but he very 
frequently came up to town upon business. At 
Brighton he occasionally saw Sir Peregrine Maitland, 
who was staying there. 

July. I had some conversation with Lord Brougham 
about the opinion he had given in debate. He denied that he 
had been correctly reported, but still said he was not prepared 
to admit that it was not treason in any foreigner coming in 
peace to make war in Upper Canada. 

He had read my letter to Lord Lyndhurst. 

3rd August. Went to consult Dr. Prout. At 12 o'clock 
called on the Duke of Wellington. 

He spoke a great deal of our canals and defences, and asked 
me to go and see him at Walmer 1 when the session was 

I had Dr. Strachan to dinner with me at Spring Gardens 
Hotel. In the evening we went to a soiree at Campbell's 
(" Pleasures of Hope ") at 61 Lincoln's Inn. We had about 
fifteen persons, much talk, tea and coifee, then a cloth laid and 
some supper, cold chicken, &c., and then a tureen of punch. 

1 He afterwards visited the Duke, not at Walmer, but at Strathfield- 
saye (see page 29.'*). 



We came away at half-past twelve, and left all the others 

Campbell is lamentably altered in appearance, but full 
of wit. 

He proposed to drink " to the memory of Archdeacon 
Strachan," who was to be consecrated Bishop to-morrow. 
" Come, come," he said, " Doctor, don't go away, you're not 
a seceder, you're a churchman. 1 " 

Sunday, 4<th August. At 11, went with Dr. Strachan and 
Mr. Wilder of the Colonial Office to be present at the con- 
secration of the Doctor to be Bishop of Toronto, and of Dr. 
Spencer (Aubrey John), as first Bishop of Newfoundland and 

It was a very imposing ceremony in the Chapel of Lambeth 

The two Bishops were presented to the Archbishop by the 
Bishop of Chichester for consecration. Their patents were then 
read. Then the Archbishop proceeded with the Consecration 
Service, the Bishops of London, Chichester, and Nova Scotia 

We all dined in the Palace, the new Bishops sitting one on 
each side of the Archbishop. Each Bishop brings with him 
two guests. The entertainment was magnificent, and great 
state observed. 

We then walked round the gardens of the Palace, about 
thirty acres, and were shown the library. 

It was singular that, without concert, I, being Chief-Justice 
of Upper Canada, should be present here in London, at the 
consecration of my old master as Bishop. 

We thought little of this at Cornwall in 1806. 

At this time, while my father was at Brighton, Dr. 
Prout, Sir Benjamin Brodie, and Dr. (afterwards Sir 
Henry) Holland, all of whom had attended him 
medically at various periods, recommended that, on 
account of his health, which was not thoroughly re- 
established, he should not risk a winter voyage to 


He received also from Sir George Arthur in 
Canada the copy of a private letter kindly written by 
him to Lord Normanby, then Secretary of State, 
respecting the extension of his leave of which the 
following is an extract : 

TORONTO, 29/A July, 1839. 

... It would not be proper in me to say that Mr. Robin- 
son's continued absence from this province is a matter of small 
moment, for I think very differently ; but I have intimated to 
his family that if his health be not perfectly re-e.stablished, it 
will be much better that he should apply for an extension of 
leave than that he should return as an invalid, with the proba- 
bility of being again obliged to revisit England on account of 
his health. 

Whilst the affairs of Canada have been under consideration 
I have felt satisfied that Mr. Robinson might be useful in 
England, for although I know he differed wholly from the 
opinions of the Earl of Durham, yet if measures were deter- 
mined on by her Majesty's Government, however contrary 
they might be to Mr. Robinson's judgment, I entertain that 
high notion of his character as to feel confident that he would 
endeavour to give all the information in his power, and offer 
such suggestions as would make the measures in question as 
perfect as possible. 

The position which Mr. Robinson has long held in this 
province is a most important one. He is regarded with a kind 
of reverence by all the old Canadian party ; with a most 
uncalled-for and most unjustifiable jealousy by some individuals 
but, by all, with more esteem and respect for his abilities, 
and with more regard for his virtues than any other person, as 
I believe, in either of the provinces. 

At the present crisis there is certainly no person more 
capable of assisting in settling the great questions connected 
with the Canadas, for whilst his high monarchical principles 
are universally known, he is opposed to all extreme measures, 
and is tolerant in his religious views. 


This led to his eventually obtaining a further 
extension of leave, upon medical grounds, until the 
following spring, and he arranged to take a house at 
Wandsworth up to 31st March, and sail for Canada 
in the first week of April. 

He now spent some six weeks in Paris with my 
mother and his family ; and from hence my brother 
John, then with them, returned to Canada, sailing 
from Portsmouth in the ship Toronto. 

Writing to his brother William from Bridgefield 
Cottage, Wandsworth, on the 13th November 1839, 
my father says : 

Nothing could be pleasanter than my situation here. I am 
four miles out of town in a very comfortable house, with a 
garden and grounds about the size of ours in Toronto. 

I see no one scarcely, being out of the way, and therefore 
am not interrupted ; and when I wish to go to town there are 
many public conveyances passing. I see the doctor now and 
then, and can in all things as to air, exercise, &c., consult my 
health, which I trust is permanently benefiting by it. Clarke 
Gamble has laid us all under great obligations by his attention 
in writing. His letters are most welcome. They tell us all we 
wish to know, and furnish occasion for many a hearty laugh. 1 

He now set to work steadily at " Canada and the 
Canada Bill," embodying his examination of the 
Union Bill of June 1839, and was only occasionally 
up in town. 

1 Mr. Joseph Clarke Gamble, K.C. (my godfather),, a link with the 
early days of Canada, died very recently (28th November 1902) in Toronto 
at the age of 94. 



Visit to Duke of tt'Yllington at Strathneldsaye Dickens : Macaulay 
Beverley House: Mr. Poulett-Thompson The Queen's marriage The 
Spectator B to intrigues against theCiovernment policy Resolution of 
Legislative ( onncil, Upper Canada- -The Canada Club .Meeting of 
Niriety for Propagation of Uospel Mr. \\ . E. (Gladstone Return to 
Canada preyed Interview with Ix>rd J. Russell Archbishop of( an 
terburyand Clergy Reserves Duke of Wellington as to his pamphlet. 
&c. Farewell let fer* and interviews Sir R. Inglis,Sir R. Peel, Duke 
of Wellington, Lord Lyndhurst, Sir F. Head Meeting of S.F.G. 
Embarks for New York Return to Toronto Address of inhabitants. 

ON the llth December 1839 my father was invited 
by the Duke of Wellington to visit him at Strath- 
fieldsaye, and writes to my mother : 


15th DwinbiT 1839. 

I write to you, not to quiet your alarms on account of my 
formidable journey, but because I think you ought to have a 
letter from me, however short, written from Strathfieldsaye. 

I left London at two o'clock, and arrived here a little before 
six. Lord Seaton and his son, intending to come by the other 
railroad, were five minutes too late, and had, in consequence, 
to post it down, and with difficulty reached us in time to dress 
for dinner. 

The Duke showed me into my bedroom, the walls of which 
are wholly covered with a series of paintings exhibiting the 
coronation ceremony of George IV. 

I found Lord and Lady Georgiana de Ros both agreeable 
people, and she particularly so. She would remind you con- 
stantly of her sister Lady Sarah. 1 

1 Lady Sarah Maitland, wife of Sir Peregrine Maitland. 



Colonel Gurwood l is here, and my old friend Mr. 
Arbuthnot, and we have some county people to dinner. 

The Duke, I am happy to say, is in excellent health and 
spirits, and he certainly does the honours of his house to 

It was interesting to see the Duke and Sir J. Colborne 
(Lord Seaton) meet: it must have revived a recollection of 
stirring scenes. 

In his Journal also he says : 

I found the Duke cheerful and well, and he says he never was 
better ; very animated and amusing. I perceive only, I think, 
increased misgovernment of his voice in speaking. 

After dinner I had much conversation with him alone 
probably more than an hour upon the affairs of Canada and 
the Colonies and on politics here. 

He said, "It is Upper Canada that wants strengthening, 
and so I told the Ministers. Make all right there, and you are 
safe but if you lose that, you lose all your Colonies in that 
country, and if you lose them, you may as well lose London." 

... I asked him how it happened that the French mobs 
generally resisted the troops so much more than an English 
mob as, for instance, comparing the three days in July with 
the Newport Rebellion. "Was it because so many of the 
people were drilled as members of the National Guard?"" 
He said, " There is something in that, but that's not the chief 
reason. An Englishman has a great dread of going against 
the laws : and then, on the other hand, an English officer or 
soldier has never any hesitation in doing his duty, when he 
knows he has the law with him. He sees his whole danger. 
A French soldier can't rely upon the law protecting him. 
He is obliged to think, Is the National Guard right ? Is the 
Army with us ? Is the Nation with us ? Because, if not, the 
laws can't protect him. He has nothing to trust to." 

We went to church on Sunday a nice little parish church, 
the Duke's pew most comfortable, a little stove in it, heated 

1 Who edited the Wellington Despatches. 


by wood, which he kept supplying pretty liberally. Pipes 
overhead, as in Canada. Lady de Ros told me the Duke 
seems quite regardless of the usual consequence of the heat 

19^ December 1839. I dined with Sir Robert Inglis, and 
met there Mr. Thomas Babington Macaulay, Dr. Lushington 
the Vice-Chancellor, Lady Raffles, Sir George Whitmore, and 
several others whose names I did not know. Next me sat 
"Boz," the author of "Pickwick," with whom I had much 
conversation after dinner. He is a young man, animated and 

In the evening there was a conversazione. Literary men, 
artists, lawyers, &c. I could not stay long, as I had to return 
to Wands worth. Before I left I met Sir Astley Cooper, Sir 
Martin Shea, the United States Ambassador, Sir Nicholas 
Tindal, Baron Gurney, Serjeants Talfourd and Adams, West- 
macott, and others. 

Macaulay is a great talker and has a prodigious memory, 
clear and circumstantial as to facts and dates. 

2nd January, 1840. I went to Cheltenham for a fortnight, 
having, since 19th December, several times seen Lord Seaton, 
and having sent to Sir Robert Peel my two letters of 9th and 

2!)th March last. 

Here it may be mentioned that while he was 
in England engaged upon " Canada and the Canada 
Hill" his house in Toronto (Beverley House) was let 
to the Governor-General of Canada, Mr. Poulett- 
Thompson (afterwards Lord Sydenham), and thus 
became the headquarters of a recognised warm sup- 
porter of the Union measure, who entertained most 
hospitably in it. 

Mr. Robert Stanton writes from Toronto on 12th 
December 1839 : 

If you could pop in upon us suddenly how much surprised 
you would be, on walking up to your house, to find it in the 
full glare of lights, and with two sentries posted in front. 


And Mr. John Macaulay, on 21st January 
1840 :- 

It seems odd enough to me to sit in the aide-de-camp's 
room in rear of your own study, and there see Captain Le 
Marchant occupied in transcribing the draft of the new Con- 
stitution under the union ! What a changeful world we 
live in. 1 

Journal continued. 

liOth February. The Queen married a rainy day. The 
Duke of Wellington not invited, nor any of the great nobility 
or foreign Ministers, either to the breakfast or banquet in the 
evening. It seems strange. No illumination or sign of rejoic- 
ing around us. 

The above entry is of interest. It gives, of 
course, only my father's impressions from what he 
saw immediately around him at Wandsworth, and 
heard in conversation at the time ; but a reference 
to the journals of the day shows that, even in London 
itself, the illuminations were not of a general or very 
brilliant character. 

The Times says that they were by no means so 
good as at the coronation, and were principally exhi- 
bited at the club-houses, Government offices, and 
residences of those connected with the Court and 
Palace ; and that the crowd in the streets was not 
so great as on other public occasions. 

The Morning Chronicle says that the city was 
" charily lighted," that Oxford Street and the City 
Road exhibited a "beggarly amount," and that 
" many noblemen and gentlemen did not exhibit/' 

1 With reference to this occupation of Beverley House in the interests 
of the Union, it is said in Mr. Robertson's "Landmarks of Toronto" that 
Mr. Thompson put up a new kitchen range in the house ; and the remark 
is amusingly added, "This was, it is said, the indirect cause of getting 
the union measure through the Upper Canada Parliament/' 



With respect to the omission of the Duke of 
Wellington from the breakfast and banquet which, 
under the exceptional nature of his services to the 
State, created surprise an explanation from one of 
the Court appeared in the press, that, as he was out 
of office, and as only certain members of royal 
families, with their suites, leading Cabinet Ministers, 
and the Bishops who had performed the marriage 
ceremony, &c., could be included among the numbers 
invited, he was necessarily not so. 

Nothing, though, could better illustrate the change 
of public feeling in England within the last century, 
due, no doubt, largely to the two royal personages, 
the Queen and the Prince Consort, married at this 
time, than the above entiy, and that in chapter v., 
previously given, referring to the opening of Parlia- 
ment on January 28, 1817. 

Journal continued. 

6th March. Went to Court with Lukin, and was presented 
by Lord John Russell. 

10th March. I saw the Duke of Wellington at Apsley 
House. He was in good health and spirits, but altered in 
appearance since I last met him. 

He spoke very clearly and most sensibly on the subject 
of Canada, and asked me if I had seen the Spectator of the 
Sunday before. He said I ought to see it, as it contained 
some remarks about me and my supposed connection with 
Lord Lyndhurst. 

My father alludes no further to this article in 
the Spectator, but having looked at it, I give these 
extracts from it : 

Lord Lyndhurst, we are credibly informed, is once more 


busy with Canadian politics, but he does not trust to his own 
knowledge of the subject ; he is said to derive information and 
counsel from Mr. Robinson, Chief- Justice of Upper Canada. It 
is scarcely to be doubted that, however different their motives, 
they will conspire to defeat the measures of the union to which 
the Government is pledged. How the former is allowed to 
remain year after year absent from his Colonial post, for 
the purpose of intriguing against the Government, it passes 
ordinary comprehensions to understand. 

It must have been about this time that he re- 
ceived the following resolution of the Legislative 
Council of Upper Canada, passed the last day of 
the last Parliament of that province : 

Wth February i<34^ 

The members of this House, before separating at the close 
of probably their last session, desire to express their regret 
that indisposition should have caused the prolonged absence 
of the Hon. Mr. Robinson from his seat in this House, and 
they unite in the hope that he will speedily be restored to the 
country to pursue with renovated health and strength that 
laborious and distinguished career which has been so fruitful 
of honour to himself and of benefit to his fellow-subjects. 

Journal continued. 

13th March. I dined at the Canada Club. Sir James 
Stirling, who founded the colony of Swan River, was there, 
and his father, who accompanied General Gore to Detroit 
in 1808; also Mr. M'Kenzie and Mr. Lockhart, M.P.'s. 

I went (on the same day) to the Committee of the Society 
for Propagating the Gospel, having been requested to do so by 
note received on Saturday. The Bishop of Salisbury (Denison) 
was in the chair. The Bishop of Nova Scotia l was also there, 
and five or six others. I was able to attend an adjourned 

Bishop Inglis. 



meeting (on the 15th). The Archbishop of Canterbury was in 
the chair. 

The committee resolved to memorialise the Government 
against the Clergy Reserves Bill, but I suggested that it should 
be first ascertained whether any such interference would be 
necessary ; because, if not, it had better be forborne ; that 
perhaps the Government would tell them that they did not 
intend to support the Bill. 

Mr. Pakington attended the meeting, and Mr. Gladstone 1 
came when it was just over. I was introduced to him, and had 
some conversation with him. He is an intelligent and interest- 
ing-looking person. 

The time had now arrived when my father's 
return to Canada was being strongly pressed in more 
than one quarter. 

On the 6th March Mr. Hume 2 asked in the House 
of Commons how long he had been away from his 
duties, and on the 17th March Mr. Leader, M.I'., 
put a question to the same effect. 

It need not be a matter of surprise that by some 
of those interested in the passage of the Union Bill 
a pressure was brought upon the Government that 
facilities to remain longer in England should not be 
afforded to one who had so openly spoken and 
written against it ; and it must be added in fairness 
that it could be now reasonably urged that he had 
been some time absent from important judicial duties. 

As far as he himself was concerned, his interest 
in the question of the union would have made him 
glad in some respects to remain until the measure 
had been finally settled. 

Many in public and private positions on both 

1 Mr. W. E. Gladstone, afterwards Prime Minister. 

Mr. Joseph Hume, M.P., a leader of the Radical party in the 
House of Commons ; died 1855. 


sides of the Atlantic, whose opinions he valued, 
were pressing upon him that by his presence in 
England when the principles and details of the Bill 
were being dealt with, he could now render a greater 
service to Canada than he could in any position if in 
Canada itself. 

On the other hand, he was anxious to resume his 
post. It was distasteful to him to have his motives 
in not returning to it earlier occasionally miscon- 
strued. His health, though not entirely restored, 
had improved ; and most of what he had thought 
it necessary to urge against the Union Bill had 
been made public. 

On the 27th February he had written to Dr. 
Strachan : " I long to be again at my own proper 
work, and have been, indeed, for some time employed 
in framing a body of rules for our Court." 

On the 19th March he had an interview by 
appointment with Lord John Russell, who had 
before this informed him that, in advices from Upper 
Canada, the Governor-General had urged very 
strongly the inconvenience caused by his protracted 

Alluding to this interview, my father says in his 
Journal : 

After some general remarks he told me in an embarrassed 
way that he thought it right to mention to me that he had 
heard through various quarters, and indeed from Canada as 
well as here, that I was concerting measures to oppose the 
plans of the Government; that I was in concert with Lord 
Lyndhurst in particular and with others; and he intimated 
that that would not be a fair proceeding on my part. 

I heard him patiently through, and then said that I could 
not know what his Lordship had heard, or from whom, but 


that I was much obliged by his speaking to me openly on the 
point. . . . 

That if it was supposed that I sought any person for the 
purpose of concerting with him a plan of proceeding to oppose 
the Government, I could only say the supposition 

That I had undoubtedly stated as freely to those who are 
called Conservatives as to the Government the objections which 
I had to the union, and, in order that there might be no 
doubt as to these opinions and statements, I had published the 
small volume I had, which contained all I had to say; and one 
chief point I had in publishing it was that the Government 
might read all that I was in the constant habit of expressing to 
others. . . . That as to Lord Lyndhurst, I had known him for 
twenty years, and had never been in England without receiving 
kind attention from him ; and that, in any conversation with 
him respecting the union, I had spoken as unreservedly as to 
others. . . . 

I told him that I had no more idea what the opponents of 
the Government had decided to do in respect to the union, or 
whether they had determined upon anything, than if I had 
been all the time in Canada ; that if they had resolved on a 
certain course and had told me of it, I could not have men- 
tioned it, but that the truth really was that they had not, and 
that I had asked them no questions. 

Lord John then said that he agreed perfectly in what I 
said ; and he repeated that he found no fault whatever with me 
for publishing the book I had ; that he thought that quite 
fair ; and he declared that he also admitted that what I had 
just said besides was reasonable and correct. 

He then entered into a long discussion of the union and 
Clergy Reserves in a friendly strain. I was with him two 
hours. He did not offer to show me any Bill, but said it was 
not finished that there were certain legal questions to be con- 
sidered, which were before the law officers. 

I spoke strongly against the union, and told him I was 
quite sure that it would not be many years before they would 
have a House of Assembly as unreasonable and as pertinacious 


as any there had been in Lower Canada, and that they would 
equally decline to act under their Constitution. 

He remarked that the Legislative Council could be so con- 
stituted as to be some check. I said : " Yes, but we see that 
as soon as it proves itself to be an effective check, an im- 
patience is felt to remodel it, so as to make it agreeable to the 
Assembly." . . . 

At the conclusion I again thanked him for speaking to me 
as he had done in the first part of our interview, and added 
that I must beg to repeat that I felt myself perfectly at liberty 
to say unreservedly to any one what I thought of the public 
measures proposed. 

He said, " Oh certainly, that cannot be objected to," and 
we parted, apparently on cordial terms, but he volunteered no 
particular statement of the objects of the Bill or its clauses, 
further than to say that it really contained little but the 
principle of the union ; and that, as I objected to that, he did 
not see that I could give assistance to them. 

23rd March. I went and heard the debate about Canada 
with Lukin. This was the first knowledge I obtained of the 
details of the intended measure. 

I may here mention that my brother Lukin 
remained for some time in England, and became, 
while there, a barrister of the Middle Temple. 

Mr. Justice Patteson 1 had recommended Mr. 
Edmund Badeley, afterwards a well-known ecclesias- 
tical lawyer, as a special pleader for him to read with, 
and the latter writes to my father, 20th August 
1840 :- 

You have probably heard of Lord Chief- Justice TindaFs 2 
kindness in taking your son with him as his marshal on the 
Midland circuit. Independently of the fees to which he is 

1 Sir John Patteson, Justice of the Queen's Bench, 1830-52, uncle of 
the present Postmaster of Toronto. Died 1861. 

' 2 Sir Nicholas Tindal, Chief-Justice, Court of Common Pleas. Died 


entitled, he has the opportunity of seeing the forms and modes 
of trial, and the civil and criminal business of our Courts. As 
he is the constant companion of the Chief- Justice, as well as of 
the other judges during the whole circuit, living ami travelling 
with him, he has the benefit of free communication with him, 
and of receiving from day to day the most valuable information 
and advice. 

As far as I can judge, I should say that he is very well 
prepared to profit by all that he will see of business, in my 
chambers and elsewhere. 

On the 24th March my father received the follow- 
ing from one of the Under Secretaries of State for the 
Colonies, dated 23rd March 1840: 

I am directed by Lord John Russell to inform you that the 
anxiety which his Lordship entertained regarding your pro- 
tracted absence from Upper Canada, on receiving the repre- 
sentations on that subject from the Governor-General, which 
were made known to you in my letter of the 5th February, has 
been enhanced by the repeated remonstrances which have been 
made respecting your absence by members of the House of 
Commons in their places in that House. 

The letter went on to desire information as to 
the exact date on which the vessel conveying him 
to Canada was to sail, and concluded with an inti- 
mation that under no circumstances could a further 
prolongation of his leave be granted. 

About this time he had the satisfaction of 
receiving from Mr. Arbuthnot the following letter 
referring to his pamphlet, " Canada and the Canada 
Bill " :- 

APSLEY HOUSE, 23rd March 1840. 

MY DEAR SIR, . . . With regard to your pamphlet, of 
which you desired to have my opinion, I think it will be far 
more worth your while to know the Duke's opinion of it. He 


has over and over again said to me that a work of greater 
ability he has never read. You will hardly want to know what 
I think after giving you the Duke's opinion. If the union 
takes place, we run the almost certain risk of losing those most 
important provinces ; and in losing them, we should lose the 
right arm of the naval preponderance of England. I am very 
sorry you will not be here when the Bill is discussed. Believe 
me, my dear sir, ever most truly yours, CH. ARBUTHNOT. 

March. I saw the Duke again to-day, at his request, 
from ten to eleven. He discussed the Clergy Reserves question, 
and the Union Bill clearly and most satisfactorily. I saw also 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had a long conversation 
with him on the Clergy Reserves, and with the Bishop of 

%nd April. This morning I received a note, brought by 
the Duke's servant at eight o'clock, saying that he had seen his 
Parliamentary friends yesterday, and was very desirous of 
seeing me to-day. 

I went to Apsley House at twelve. He said, " I spent the 
greater part of yesterday with our Conservative friends at Sir 
Robert Peel's, and we were principally discussing the Clergy 
Reserves measure. 

" They all seemed clearly enough to perceive the difficulty 
of settling the question, but no one seemed to set himself fairly 
to the consideration of how the difficulty could be overcome. 

" You must have seen, 1 ' he said, " while you have been in 
this country, that there are only two ways of doing things 
here ; that is, you must do them by means of one party or the 
other, for as for any man, or number of men, attempting to 
strike out a middle course, and to settle a great public question 
by a measure just and reasonable, and such as all good men 
must approve of, it is out of the question, no one thinks of it. 
Practically I believe there is no help for it. Experience has 
shown this state of things to be necessary here. You can only 
carry a thing by taking your party with you, you must go 
all one way or all the other. 

4tth April. Dined with the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Met the Bishop of Lincoln and seven or eight others. 


The Archbishop returned me a paper I had left him, saying 
that it rested the right of the Kstuhlished Church on more 
solid grounds than he had seen set out before. 

As my lather's departure drew near he received 
many kind farewell notes, among them the following 
from Sir Robert Inglis : 

7 BKI>FOKI> S^i ,/,/// 1840. 

MY DI AK CHIKF- JUSTICE, I cannot go to bed without 
thanking you for your very kind letter, which I have just 
found on my return home from the debate, the division, and 
the close (without a division) of the great corn law question. 

I can truly assure you that I shall often think of you, and 
never without respect and regard. I hope that we shall yet 
meet here. 

You will (D. V.) find us here at breakfast on Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings; and, if you 
come at a quarter before nine, you will be one of our family. 
Pray bring your son. 

... If Lady Inglis should be at home, it would give her 
much pleasure to see Mrs. Robinson, and show her our picture 
of Mr. Wilberforce. 1 Believe me, my dear Chief-Justice, most 
truly yours, ROBERT H. Lvcu^. 

And Sir Robert writes later to him to Canada : 

I can hardly, without being accused of flattery (by you at 
least, though by no one else), tell you how highly I appreciate 
your talents and your public principles. In everything relating 
to the North American Provinces of the Crown, it is a satisfac- 
tion to me to think that I have not differed from you in speech 
or in vote. 

Sir Robert Peel writes on Thursday, 2nd April : 
MY DEAR SIR, I am very desirous of seeing you for other 
reasons than to bid you reluctantly farewell. Will you call 

1 The portrait of Mr. William Wilberforce for Sir Robert Ing! 
said to have "achieved " (for George Richmond, the artist) " by its happy 
treatment of a difficult subject, a \v<irhl-\vidi> >uc v<- " ("Dictionary of 
National Biography George Richmond, R.A.") 



upon me on Saturday morning at eleven? The principle of 
non-intrusion, for which my petitioners rather than I myself 
contend, applies only to unwelcome appointments. Ever, my 
dear sir, most truly yours, ROBERT PEEL. 

Journal continued. 

Sunday, 5th April. I dined with the Duke of Wellington, 
who was so kind as to ask Lukin to accompany me. 

We met Lord and Lady Wilton, Lord Adolphus Fitz 
Clarence, Lord Burghersh, Colonel and Mrs. Anson, Lord 
and Lady Mahon, Lord McDonell, the Austrian and Nether- 
lands Ambassadors, General Alava, and several others. An 
exceedingly agreeable party. 

I have seen Sir Robert Peel, and was with him for more 
than an hour. 

He says he agrees entirely in my sentiments on the Clergy 
Reserves question, but that the High Church party would not 
support him in it. As to the union I see pretty clearly that 
he feels it impossible to give an unqualified opposition to the 
principle of union. 

1th April. At the Duke's request called on him at twelve. 
He talked to me very plainly on matters here. 

I asked him whether, if the Clergy Reserves Bill should be 
thrown out, there was any chance that some proper measure 
could be brought in here and carried. He said : " We can't do 
it in our House (the Lords) because we have no power what- 
ever over public measures except as acting on the defensive. 
We cannot answer for our friends in the Commons. 

" The cry with a certain party of our friends is ' Principle, 
principle, we must stand upon principle.' I always tell them 
principle is a very good thing ; I will stand upon principle 
too as long as any of you, when I can see one to stand on, 
but I want a principle that will fill the stomach. 

" It's a very easy thing for people who live at ease in all 
respects to say : ' I am satisfied, I want no change, I am for 
abiding by principle.' They forget the thousands and the 
millions that live in desolate places they hardly know how, 


and come out and say : ' We have no bread, no rest ; we want 
to be taught. 1 " He spoke long and feelingly and very clearly. 

He said at parting, " I shall be here every day at twi-lve, 
and always glad to see you when you rail." 

I had a long talk with the Bishop of Exeter to-day. 

8th April. At the Duke's request I had an interview with 
Lord Lyndhurst, whom I found still very weak and ill; so 
much so indeed that I would not enter into particular con- 
versation with him, though it was desired and intended that 
I should. I feared to be the cause of injury to his health. 

By request I attended a meeting at the Mansion House 
for promoting the objects of the Society for Propagating the 
(Jospel in I-'oreign Tar 

The Archbishop spoke; the Bishop of London very elo- 
quently, so also Archdeacon Wilberforce and several others. 

I had been requested to second a motion, and after I got 
into the room it was changed and another put into my hands. 
It was late in the afternoon before my turn came, and I 
perplexed between wishing to say some things, and to comply 
with the impatience for dinner, and I spoke badly. 

After I had done, two gentlemen came to me and begged 
I would publish in pamphlet form what I had said, that it would 
be very useful, as it gave information which was much wanted. 

I told them it was quite impossible ; that I was to embark 
ith my family in a few hours, and had not a moment of leisure. 

<1000 was collected. 

Thursday, 9th April. I called and took leave of the Duke 
of Wellington. He was most friendly and confidential in his 
conversation with me. 

We spoke most of the Clergy Reserves question, and of the 
Canadian question (the Union). 

Upon the latter he said, " Whenever that question comes 
on, you may depend upon this, I'll say what I think, if the 
Devil stands in the door.'" 

The Duke, I may here add, opposed the passage 
of the Union Bill at its third reading in the House of 


Lords, handing in a written protest, containing his 
reasons. He was firmly convinced that the measure 
was an unsafe one in the interests of British connection. 
Opinions have differed as to the Duke's action 
and policy as a statesman, but many will agree with 
a recent writer, Mr. Spencer Wilkinson, who, in 
" Cromwell to Wellington " (1899), says :- 

He was the strongest, loyalest, greatest, flesh-and-blood 
Englishman that we, or our fathers, know of, or are likely to 

Those who scoff at his statesmanship mean by a statesman 
a politician skilful in carrying his party to victory. Those 
who prefer national to party services may possibly think that, 
despite undoubted mistakes, the statesman was even greater 
than the soldier, though neither of them was so great as the man. 

To those in Canada it may be of interest to know 
(as is more than once brought out in these pages) 
how deeply Canadian questions, and the great im- 
portance of the North American Colonies to England, 
occupied his mind, though he had never served in 

His speech upon the Union Bill was one of his 
last great efforts in the House of Lords. Lord 
Mahon, afterwards Earl Stanhope, writing on 8th 
November 1840, says : 

The Duke spoke with the deepest emotion, I might almost 
say anguish, of the loss of Canada impending, as he fears, 
from the measures of last session. I have seldom seen him 
more affected. 1 

And Sir Francis Head writes to my father, July 
18, 1840 : 

1 " Conversations with the Duke of Wellington," by Earl Stanhope. 


The Duke, after the excitement of his last speech (against 
the Union), was scixetl with another of tho>e attacks which 
proceed from the flesh being too weak for the spirit. I'pper 
Canada should revere his name, and you should be proud of the 
manner in which you have ,all been spoken of by the jreate>l 
and simplest man of this age, or, I believe, of almost anv age. 

The Duke in his M Protest" referred to the 
" loyalty, gallantry, and exertions of the local troops, 
militia and volunteers, of the province of Upper 
Canada, 11 stating that the "operations in the recent 
insurrection and rebellion had tended to show that 
the military resources and qualities of the inhabitants 
of Upper Canada have not deteriorated since the 
War ; " and that in that War (of 1812-15) it had been 
" demonstrated that these provinces (with but little 
assistance from the Mother Country in regular troops) 
are capable of defending themselves against all the 
efforts of their powerful neighbours. 

The strong views held by the Duke as to the im- 
portance of the Canadas to England made it natu- 
rally more difficult for him, than for those not holding 
them to the same extent, to accept the measure of 
the Union, which, he feared, might possibly lead to 
their separation from the Crown. 

His opinion was (see page 294) : " If you lose that 
(viz., Upper Canada) you lose all your Colonies in that 
country ; and, if you lose them, you may as well lose 
London." He advocated the expenditure of large 
sums, which no Government of his day would grant, 
for the defence of the Canadian frontier (page 284). 
He urged the establishment of an arsenal, &c., on the 
Niagara frontier, which was not carried out (page 68). 
He caused the construction of the Rldeau Canal, 


chiefly with a view to defence 1 (page 330), and he 
repeatedly pressed upon Ministers the necessity of 
securing naval superiority upon the Lakes (page 69). 

Sir Robert Peel would, no doubt, under certain 
circumstances (see his letter of 10th January 1839, 
pages 275-77), have fought for the maintenance of 
the Canadas, but he was impressed with the gravity of 
the obligation to do so, and their loss would evidently 
not have been felt by him to be the serious blow to 
England that the Duke would have regarded it. 

He (Sir Robert) writes thus, on the 16th May 1842, 
to Lord Aberdeen, 2 at a time when there was friction 
between Great Britain and the United States on the 
subject of the boundary line between New Brunswick 
and Maine, 3 and disputes between the Mother Country' 
and Canada were going on as to the Canadian civil 
list : 

If there is not a British party in the Canadas sufficient to 
put down these attempts at renewed conflicts, I for one should 
be much disposed to hold high language. Let us keep Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, for their geographical position 
makes their sea-coast of great importance to us ; but the con- 
nection with the Canadas, against their will nay, without the 
cordial co-operation of the predominant party in Canada is a 
very onerous one. The sooner we have a distinct understand- 
ing on that head the better ; the advantage of commercial in- 
tercourse is all on the side of the Colony, or at least is not in 
favour of the Mother Country. 

1 Dr. Widmer, of Toronto, who had served in the Peninsular War, 
writing to my father when it was contemplated to make Ottawa the 
Dominion seat of Government, says : " The Great Duke's spirit nods assent 
his sagacity foresaw this when he planned the Rideau Canal." 

2 " Sir Robert Peel, from his Private Papers/' by C. S. Parker (1899), 
vol. iii. pp. 387-89. 

3 Afterwards settled by the treaty termed by Lord Palmerston the 
" Ashburton Capitulation" (Alison's " History of Europe/' 1815 to 1852, 
p. 320). 


But, above all, if the people are not cordially with us, why 
should we contract the tremendous obligation of having to de- 
fend, on a point of honour, their territory against American 
aggression ? Let us fight to the last for the point of honour if 
the people are with us; in that case we cannot abandon them. 
But if they are not with us, or if they will not cordially sup- 
port and sustain those measures which we consider necessary for 
their good government and for the maintenance of a safe con- 
nection with them, let us have a friendly separation while there 
is yet time. 

On Friday, 10th April 1840, my father with his 
family sailed for New York in the Quebec. a sailing ship, 
and reached Portsmouth on the Tuesday following. 

Sir John Pakington sent him the first copy he 
had seen of the new Union Bill (which reached him 
just before he sailed), and writes : 

I presume you have seen the Union Bill but I will send you 
a copy from the House this evening to ensure your having it. 

How very provoking that you should be obliged to sail just 
before the debates on the Clergy Reserves in the Lords, and on 
the Union in the Commons, both of which are fixed for Monday 
the 13th. 

The Bishop of Exeter, with whom he had many 
interviews in connection with Church questions, 
also writes warmly to him, 9th April : 

Once more, in the full sense of the phrase, and from my 
heart "God bless you." Ever faithfully and affectionately 
yours, H. EXKI 

And Sir Francis Head, in a letter of 10th April 
which apparently reached him at Portsmouth : 

You are at this moment, I hope, with a fair wind floating 
towards the Nore. I had fully intended to have said good-bye, 
but you were not at home, and, as I drove away, I felt almost glad 
that it was so, for it would only have given me pain to have 
attempted to say much which I hope it is not necessary I should 


express. When you write to me about politics, say something 
also about your health, as to which I am anxious. With great 
regard, yours very affectionately, F. B. HEAD. 

From Portsmouth he wrote to Bishop Strachan : 

It was an anxious moment to leave England, but there was 
no help for it. 

My leave had expired, and the Governor-General (Mr. 
Thompson) on the one side, and Messrs. Hume and Leader on 
the other side of the Atlantic, were so impatient to have me 
fairly shipped, that the Secretary of State was at no loss as to 
excuses for his anxiety on the subject. 

I made no application to remain longer, and consistently 
with the respect due to myself, I could not have done it. 

After an average voyage, with some hard gales, 
but much fair weather and often light baffling winds, 
the Quebec sighted Long Island at daylight on the 
15th May, and on the 16th was becalmed, just out- 
side of the Hook near New York. 

At 11 A.M. on the 16th a small steamer came out 
and took her in tow, and they landed at New York 
at 2 P.M. 

My father, in concluding his Journal, says : 

The British Queen (a steamer) passed us the night before, 
quite near, having left Portsmouth seventeen days after we did. 
We had a most lovely day for entering the harbour of New 
York. The scene was quite enchanting. . . . 

We found John here waiting for us. He tells us all are 
well at home. God be praised. 

Eight hundred of the inhabitants of Toronto 
welcomed him upon his return (on 1st June 1840) 
with an address, in which they expressed their appre- 
ciation of his efforts in England "to promote the 
interests of Upper Canada," and "their pleasure at 
seeing him once more among them." 



Judicial life Separation of the office- of President of Executive and 
Speaker of' Legislative Council from that of Chief-Justice Address 
fcO Grand Joiy Importance Of tlM .Judicature heinif kept free from 
Mi>picion of political hias Statute liook of I pper Canad-i Allusions 
to his work while upon the Bench Changes in Canada during his 
lifetime - The /,'/(/ Jnnrnal as to him I'uhlic intr 
\Vellaiul and Kideau canals J^ake navigation The Canadian 
Institute Church work in Canada Lord Sydenham's death - 
Keferenco to my father hy Sir F. Head and Sir d. Arthur 
to IVu-rhorou^h ( 'olonel Talhot I lome life Appointed Companion 
of the Hath Visit to Virginia. 

MY father's work upon the Bench, extending over the 
long period from 1829 to 1863, was unquestionably 
that to which the very best energies of the best 
years of his life were continuously devoted, and in 
connection with which his name will he chiefly 
remembered in Canada. 

After 1840 his duties became entirely judicial, 
for it was considered by the Government, on his 
return from England in 1840, to be inexpedient that 
he should resume his position of Speaker of the 
Legislative Council. This was in consequence of 
a pending measure, under which those connected 
with the administration of justice were not to hold 
any political or other Government office. 

Few will be found to contest the general wisdom 
of this measure under which the Judicature wn>, 
dissociated from all connection with politics carried 
out in 1841, and I may add that no one was more 



fully alive than my father, while on the Bench, to 
the importance of keeping the administration of 
justice free from all suspicion of political bias. 

In connection with this I may quote from one of 
his addresses to the Grand Jury in 1837 : 


You delivered into Court yesterday a paper addressed 
to me in which you acquainted me that you had made a 
representation to his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor on 
various subjects connected with the welfare of your district, 
which representation you requested me to transmit to his 

I took it for granted that your representation related either 
to the subject of the gaol or to some matter connected with 
the administration of justice, or with the local interests of this 
district ; and being occupied in the trial of a cause, I had no 
leisure at the moment to peruse it. 

I have now read it, and I find that it is an expression of 
opinion upon various subjects of general policy, important no 
doubt to the people of the province, but having no immediate 
connection with the administration of justice. 

I have a strong reluctance as a judge to be made the 
channel of such a communication, and from respect to the 
Grand Jury I will state my reasons. 

The business of this Court is to administer justice, and 
we cannot too closely confine ourselves to it. His Majesty 's 
subjects should all feel that they stand here upon an equal 
footing. We have to do with rights in this place, and with 
opinions only so far as they bear upon those rights. To 
deviate to the debatable ground of politics would be departing 
from our proper sphere. 

Since I have been upon the Bench, a period of more than 
seven years, I have not been asked to become the medium of 
conveying an address to the Executive Government upon any 
subject not immediately connected with the duties of the 
Court, and, upon this first occasion, I feel it to be my duty 
to discourage it. 


You will understand from this, gentlemen, that I hope 
you will withdraw your request to me to transmit \our repre- 
sentations to his Excellency, and you will excuse my stating 
frankly to you that opinions on the subjects discussed in this 
representation would more properly, as I think, be withheld by 
you while acting in the capacity of Grand Jurors. 

Every man in the community is interested in guarding the 
administration of justice from suspicion, misconstruction, or 
reproach. . . . 

But the system under which he first entered 
judicial lite and presided as Chief-Justice in the 
Legislative Council was, nevertheless, not without 
some advantages, 1 and the journals of the Council 
show how his presence in it had enabled him to in- 
troduce and carry through many beneficial measures, 
especially of a legal character, which from his ex- 
perience gained in great part upon the Bench- 
he saw to be advantageous. 

They are evidence also that the " Statute-Book " 
of Upper Canada, of which Lord Durham speaks as 
follows, was largely his work : 

The " Statute- Book " of the Upper Province abounds with 
useful and well-constructed measures of reform. 

That the business of the Courts was not retarded 
by the demands of politics upon his time, but was 
diligently earned out, is sufficiently evinced by the 
fact that on the day on which the union of the 
provinces was proclaimed, there was not one case, 
civil or criminal, which had been argued, remaining 
undecided in the Court of Queen's Bench. 

1 It is interesting to note that in England the Lord (.'hanrdlor -till 
sits in the House of Lords, and goes in and out with the (iovernment. 


Mr. Fennings Taylor, 1 alluding to his judicial life, 
writes : 

From the time when his connection with political affairs 
closed, he ceased to be the property of a party. Then, and to 
the end of his life, he belonged to the province. He grew irre- 
sistibly and with noiseless force in the good-will and affections 
of the people. Men no longer remembered the ardent politician 
and skirmishes at elections. They only recollected the upright 
judge and his consistent and laborious life. 

It is a true description of his life to speak of it as 
being " laborious " as well as consistent. 

It left him but little leisure for other occupations 
or for any recreation. My recollection of him is that 
hour after hour, and for days together, he was at his 
library desk, when not at Court or on circuit ; but 
always extraordinarily patient of interruption, and 
able in an exceptional way, when for a time he cast 
his work aside, to throw it off his mind. 

In August 1848 he writes to his sister, Mrs. Boul- 
ton, when the Court was sitting : 

It is vexatious to be obliged as I am to spend every day and 
all day in Court, coming home weary, sometimes at six, some- 
times at seven, and commonly working from the time I get up 
till I set out for Court. This, I suppose, is to be a history of 
my existence for the rest of my days. 

And so it was and so it is the history of many 
another Judge upon the Bench. 

The following sketch of him is given in the 
Toronto Courier of 24th March 1835, under the 
signature of " Alan Fairford " : 

Portraits of British Americans," by Femiiugs Taylor (1866). 

xii .imiC'IAI, LIFE 317 

SKETCH OF THE Cmn-.h >, 

In Israel's Courts ne'er sat an Abethdin 
With more discerning eye, or hands more clean ; 
Unbribed, unsought, the wretched to redress, 
Swift of despatch, and easy of access. 

In picturing to ourselves the character and person of a 
judge, we usually invest him with solemnity of appearance. 
venerable old age, and features furrowed hv intense and de- 
liberate thought. 

These distinguishing marks, however, do not appertain to the 
Chief-Justice of I'pper Canada. Comparatively speaking, he 
is a young Judge young in appearance, young in manner, 
young in everything but knowledge and virtue. 

The Chief-Justice has but one object, and that is the good 
of the province, and all the weight that, he can command he 
throws into the scale of con>titutional liberty and good govern- 
ment. Not only are we indebted to him for the dignified im- 
partiality with which he administers justice, for his laborious 
research, his swiftness of despatch, his ea>ine of access; not 
only are we indebted to him for the masterly charges constantly 
delivered to the Grand Juries, explaining recent enactments, 
and suggesting improvements where the law is defective; but 
to him we owe anything like a statute-book. 

The Bills, as may be easily imagined, are, when sent up from 
the Lower House, 2 thickly studded with blunders, contra- 
dictions, imperfections numberless. Those the Chief-Justice 
corrects, expunges, reconciles, and amends. 

Fortunately for the province he cast his lot in it. He is 
not a worldly-minded man, and to live in the honourable esti- 
mation and in the hearts of his fellow-subjects is no doubt 
dearer to him than the accumulation of wealth; but in Eng- 
land he would have ranked with the Sugdens and the Wether- 
ells, the Knights, the Pembertons, and the Folletts. 

1 From Dryden's poem of "Absalom and Ahithophel." 

2 i.e. from the House of Assembly to the Legislative Council, of which 
he was Speaker. | 


All who come within his influence love him and imbibe for 
him that personal regard and individual attachment which so 
few have the power of inspiring. 

To touch even slightly to any advantage upon 
the more important of those judgments which he 
delivered while he sat upon the Bench, would require 
a legal training and knowledge which I do not 
possess, and also unduly lengthen these pages. 

Mr. Read, in his " Lives of the Judges," alluding 
to him, writes : 

On his elevation to the Bench, the Chief-Justice found 
himself called upon to administer and interpret laws, a very 
considerable part of the statutory portion of which he had 
either framed or assisted in framing. It would be idle to 
attempt to give even a synopsis of the decisions come to by 
him during the thirty-three years he was Chief-Justice of the 
Queen's Bench. It is sufficient to say that during this whole 
period, the longest ever attained by any Chief-Justice or Judge 
in the province, he was looked up to as the Head of the Bench, 
and that his decisions, contained in thirty volumes of reports, 
uniformly had the respect of the Bar. 

But while I abstain from any attempt to enter 
into details of his legal work, I am sensible that not 
to dwell to some extent upon those labours, which 
formed the main interest and occupation of his life, 
and constituted really his chief life-task, would be to 
represent him but very imperfectly. 

There are few official positions in a nation which 
involve greater responsibility, or in which the efficient 
and scrupulous discharge of duty is more necessary, 
or more influences the character and well-being of 
the community, than that of the Head of the Courts 
of Justice. 

Of this my father was very sensible, and nothing, 


I think, would have given him greater satisfaction 
than to have been able to feel, as I hope he could feel, 
that he had contributed in an appreciable degree 
towards creating and maintaining in Canada that con- 
fidence in the integrity of the Bench which exists, 
I believe, throughout the entire country. 

To maintain the purity and dignity of the Courts, 
and to increase the estimation in which the decisions 
of the Canadian Hench l were held in the Mother 
Country, were aims never absent from his mind. 

His journals from which I have quoted in preced- 
ing chapters, and that of 1855 (chapter xiv.), allud- 
ing frequently to legal topics and persons, show with 
what great interest, when in England, he followed 
the proceedings of the English Courts ; and from 
them is to be gathered what chiefly struck him. 

While he enjoyed a joke as much as any one, and 
could appreciate the witty good humour of a Baron 
Parke, he disliked foolish levity, and any want of 
decorum in Courts of Justice, as well as the badger- 
ing of witnesses on the part of counsel. 2 

The law had been undoubtedly the profession of his 
choice, and its study, practice, and administration had 
occupied him, more or less uninterruptedly, from the 
time he entered Mr. Boulton's law office in 1807 
until his death, while President of the Court of Error 
and Appeal, in 1863. 

Having become Acting Attorney-General at a 
very early age, and entered the Legislature when 
young, he was from official position closely concerned 
with the law of Upper Canada and its modifications 
for more than half a century. 

1 As to this, see pages 326 aud 375. 2 See pages 82, 85-S6. 


He had grown up, it may be said, with the Upper 
Province of Canada and with the city of Toronto, 
from their birth, for he was born in the year (1791) in 
which Upper Canada commenced its statutory exist- 
ence, 1 and in the following year (1792) his father 
moved with him to Kingston, and thence (in 1798) 
to York, which was then but a small village sur- 
rounded by forest. 2 

From that time he lived in York (Toronto) until 
within four years of the province becoming incor- 
porated into the present Dominion, 3 and until its 
population was, roughly speaking, about that of the 
whole of Upper Canada when his father and he first 
came into it. 4 

As I have before said, many of his earlier circuits 
were made more or less on horseback, owing to the 
indifference of even the main roads throughout the 

His life comprised an important and progressive 
period, not only in the history of Canada, but of 
other parts of the world, and it need scarcely be said 
that the events in Europe and Great Britain exercised 
a great influence on the North American Colonies. 

In the year in which he was born, French law in 
matters of property and civil rights governed all 
Canada, and the French Revolution was going on. 

Then followed the struggle with Napoleon, out 
of which grew the war between Great Britain and 

1 Under the Constitutional Act of 1791. 

2 The population of York five years afterwards, in 1803, is given as 
456. I have heard my father say that he had seen a bear killed on what 
is now King Street, Toronto. 

3 Under the Confederation (British North America) Act of 1867. 

4 In 1800, two years after my father came to York, the population of 
Upper Canada was but 50,000. That of Toronto the year after his death 
was 49,000. 


the United States of 1812-15, of which Canada was 
mainly the scene. 

After this came the passage of the Reform Bill in 
England, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the repeal 
of the Test and Corporation Acts, the Canadian Re- 
hellion, the Union of the Canadas, and the Revo- 
lutionary period in Europe of 1848-49. Church, 
educational, and fiscal questions were subjects of much 
attention and no little legislation. Railways, steamers, 
and the telegraph were introduced, and new interests 
of every kind were created in Upper Canada, where 
the population kept increasing by leaps and bounds. 

It can be easily seen that all this had its effect 
upon the work of those connected with the law, which 
in Upper Canada as elsewhere had to keep pace with, 
and adapt itself to, the changing circumstances of 
the country. 

It may help some to realise how much the 
Toronto of my father's boyhood differed from that 
of to-day, and how much legal punishments have 
changed in the interim, to mention, that in Robert- 
son's " Landmarks of Toronto," and Read's " Lives 

the Judges " we read l that the stocks and pillory 
continued in use in York for some years after the 
beginning of the last century ; and that in 1807, when 
my father first became a law-student, a prisoner was 
convicted before Chief- Justice Scott, at the Criminal 
Court of the Home District, for stealing five shillings, 
and sentenced to banishment for seven years. 

Slaves were sold in York in 1806, when my 
father was fifteen years old, and possibly later ; for 

1 " Landmarks of Toronto," by J. Ross Robertson (1894), p. 62 ; Read's 
" Lives of the Judges," pp. 64 and 78. 




although on 9th July 1793 an Act 1 passed at Niagara 
in the second session of the Upper Canadian Legisla- 
ture had rendered illegal their introduction into the 
province, the rights of property in slaves then in 
servitude there, were not interfered with. 

From what has been said it can be readily under- 
stood how very many must have been the alterations 
in the Law of Upper Canada within the time of my 
father's close connection with it, and I will now 
quote from what he himself writes as to some of these 
changes, and other matters connected with his judi- 
cial work. 

Writing in 1854, he says : 

I received my commission as Chief- Justice on the 13th 
July 1829, and from that time to this (30th March 1854), I 
have filled the office, having been once only absent from my 
duty in 1838 and '39, in consequence of ill-health. 

In that period wonderful changes have occurred. The 
population of Upper Canada has risen from 240,000 to above a 
million, and of the town in which I live, from 3000 to 40,000. 
A Court of Chancery has been introduced, and having been 
placed at the head of a Court of Appeal from its decisions, I 
have been, in fact, made a Judge in Equity as well as Law. 

The most difficult and important cases from that Court 
have been brought before me and my brother Judges in 
" Appeal " a duty wholly unknown to our predecessors. 
Municipal Councils have been introduced, and we have to try 
the legality of elections and to determine the validity of bye- 
laws, in relation to some hundreds of municipalities for every 
county, township, city, town, and considerable village has its 
Municipal Council. 

Banks, insurance companies, railway companies, and corpora- 

1 Mr. Read ("Lives of the Judges") points out that it is a matter for 
just pride in Canada that the Upper Province, at a time when neither the 
Mother Country nor the Republic of the United States had abolished 
slavery, led the van towards its suppression by this Act. 


tions of all kinds have sprung up, giving rise to new inter 
and to a great variety of new legal questions, so that if I were 
to say that the duties and responsibilities of the office of Chief- 
Justice have increased fivefold during my tenure of it, I am 
not sure that I should state more than is true. The number of 
Assi/e. towns has grown from eleven to thirty. 

Of the fifteen English Judges, Baron Parke alone was on 
the Bench when I was appointed. I can remember the Chief- 
. I ust ice being changed in Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, lYiuce Edward's Island, Newfoundland, the three 
Indian Presidencies, Ceylon, Mauritius, the Cape, Jamaica. 
Trinidad, Tobago, Bahama, Bermuda, Dominica, and I believe 
the fact is the same in everv colony. 

I can add, with some degree of satisfaction, that in the 

i v-tbur years I speak of there have been but five appeals 

from this province to England, three in important equity cases, 

and two in common law. In all the judgment has been 

affirmed, and no judgment given in our Court has been reversed. 

This is but an uncertain test of their correctness, though it 
affords a favourable presumption; and at least the profession 
and the public will always have the means of estimating and 
examining the labours of the Court, for our decisions are in 
regular course of publication, and they already fill fifteen 

It is also satisfactory to be able to say that during the last 
twenty-four years there has been no arrear of business in the 
Court of Queen's Bench. I do not mean merely to say that 
there has been no great arrear, nor for any long time, but 
that there has been absolutely none. 

Many years ago, I had an Act passed which allows the Court 
to meet at the expiration of ten days after the end of each 
term, for the purpose only of giving judgments in matters that 
have been argued. This enables us to dispose speedily of all 
such questions and applications as the Judges can readily agree 
upon, after opportunity of conference among themselves. Those 
cases which present questions of greater difficulty, and of which 
the Judges cannot at once bring themselves to take the same 
view, must of course stand over for consideration to the next 
term, when judgment is sure to be pronounced unless in an 


occasional case, kept open at the desire of the parties, or in 
which some further elucidation is indispensable. 

Thus it frequently happens that when we have delivered our 
judgments, we do not leave a case undisposed of which has ever 
been mentioned in the Court, and are as clear of business in a 
tribunal which has been open for sixty years, in a country con- 
taining now a million of people, among whom commerce and 
the transferring of property, and all those pursuits which give 
rise to litigation and legal questions, are carried on with great 
activity, as if it had been open but a day. 

I need riot say that it is not without constant attention and 
great labour that this has been accomplished. 

Except my illness in 1838, I have been singularly favoured 
with good health ; and I have in all those particulars which are 
most essential to happiness the greatest cause for thankfulness. 

I conclude my reference to his judicial life by an 
extract from the Law Journal as to it. 1 

Sir John Robinson was, we believe, the youngest Chief- 
Justice that ever sat in a British Court of Justice. His 
reputation at the Bar had qualified him for the post, for he 
certainly had no equal in his day, and his judicial career has 
established the propriety of his early elevation. 

We know not in which judicial capacity we admired him 
most. At nisi prius he presided with calmness, courtesy, and 
dignity. His strict impartiality and love of truth were pro- 
verbial; and whether it was a Queers counsel or the most 
inexperienced barrister on the rolls, he paid the same attention 
to his argument, and gave to each equal consideration and 
protection. His love of order, and his sense of the respect due 
to the dignity of a court of justice, made him prompt to sup- 
press any indecorum; and when disapproval or even censure 
was called for, he befittingly expressed his opinion, though 
always in a courteous manner. His addresses to the jury were 
delivered with ease and grace, and were clothed in the clearest 
and simplest language. In sentencing prisoners, full of tender- 

1 From the Law Journal of Upper Canada, March 1863. 


ness and compassion, he indicated the charitable feelings of his 
heart; and the kind and wholesome advice he was in the habit 
of giving to those who had entered on a career of crime, and 
for whose reformation there was yet some hope, wa> marked by 
the deepest feeling. Some of his charges to Grand Juries are 
masterpieces in their way, and his addresses on public occasions 
were remarkable for their erudition, and classic beauty. One 
of the finest of these addresses he delivered on laying the foun- 
dation-stone of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum. It will bear 
favourable comparison with similar productions of the ablest 
writers, and its vein of thought and purity of style can scarcely 
be surpassed. 1 

In full Court, Sir John Robinson was always the pride and 
favourite of the Bar. The reputation he enjoyed, and the 
\u-ight of his opinion, greatly increased the business of the 
Court in which he presided. He was always distinguished for 
his readiness and acuteness, and he had seldom any difficulty in 
grasping the most intricate cases. In his hands the business of 
the Court was never in arrear, and the. knowledge of unfinished 
work was a burthen on his mind to relieve himself from which 
he would use the most strenuous exertion. Few opinions will 
ever command more respect or carry more weight than those 
delivered by Sir John Robinson. They are remarkable for 
their lucid argument, deep learning, strict impartiality, and 
pure justice; they are untainted by fanciful theories, prejudice, 
or political bias ; and they bear evidence of that careful re- 
search, that deep thought, that unwearied application and un- 
tiring patience, which he brought to bear on every subject that 
under his consideration. In whatever branch of juris- 
prudence we examine his judgments, we find evidence of his 
intense study. Equity or common law, civil or criminal law, 
pleading, practice, and evidence all exhibit the same copious- 
ness of research, and the profound comprehensiveness of his 
legal attainments. He may be said to have studied law as a 
science, but in the words of Mr. Whiteside, "he objected to 
the triumph of form over substance, of technicality over truth ; * 

1 See some extracts from this address in chap, xvi., pp. 404, 405. 


and though he gave to legal objections their full force and 
effect, his quick apprehension of facts soon separated the chaff 
from the grain. 

As an equity judge, Sir John Robinson was no less entitled 
to respect than in the Courts of common law. One of the most 
important appeals was the case of Simpson v. Smith (Error 
and Appeal Cases), where the Court of Chancery held that 
under the llth section of the Chancery Act of this province 
they might, under certain circumstances, refuse redemption 
notwithstanding twenty years had not elapsed since the mort- 
gagor went out of possession. In the result of this case an 
immense tract of land and important interests were at stake; 
it involved the whole of the property known as Smith's Falls. 
The judgment of the Court of Chancery was appealed from to 
the four Judges who at that time sat in the Court of Appeal. 
They were equally divided in opinion, and the case was carried 
to England. There the Court was unanimous, and the Right 
Hon. Pemberton Leigh (now Lord Kingsdown) remarked, with 
reference to the judgment of the Chief- Justice, that " he never 
saw a judgment more elaborately and carefully reasoned, or 
more admirably expressed." 

The last case of public interest which occurred during the 
period Sir John Robinson presided in the Court of Queen's 
Bench was the famous Anderson Extradition case. 1 The sym- 
pathy that was evinced both here and in England on behalf of 
the fugitive, is of too recent date to be forgotten. Opinions 
were freely expressed ; public meetings were held ; newspapers 
teemed with leading articles, and the anti-slavery views of their 
correspondents; and even the judgment of the Court was 

The following week the judgment of the Court was de- 
livered in favour of the surrender of the prisoner, M'Lean, J., 
dissenting; and though their judgment was neither in support 
of nor against slavery, but based entirely upon the consideration 
of the treaty existing between the United States and Canada, 

1 John Anderson, a fugitive slave in the United States, having killed 
Seneca Diggs, who attempted to arrest him, escaped to Canada. In 1860 
his extradition for murder was demanded under the provisions of the 
Ashburton treaty of 1842. 


so strongly prejudiced was public opinion that tin- popularity 
of the Bench seemed likely to suffer. But, in the words of an 
able Fn^l ish contemporary, "These Judges, proof against un- 
popularity, and unswayed by their own hitter hatred of sla 
as well as unsoftencd by their own feeling* for a fellow-man in 
agonising peril, upheld the law made to their hands, and which 
they Ji re sworn faithfullv to administer. /'//// jitst'ifm. (ii\e 
them their due. Such men are the ballast of nations.'*'' The 
case was afterwards brought up before the Court of Common 
IMe.-is; and having been argued there on a technical point that 
had not been raised in the Queen's Bench, the prisoner was dis- 

Canada has never had a Judge- who so completely enjoyed 
the confidence of the entire legal profession as Sir John Robin- 
son. His natural affability, his unassumed dignity and un- 
ruflled temper, made him not onlv revered but even loved. 
By his brother Judges he was regarded with admiration, and no 
opinion were they so anxious to obtain, or valued so highly. 
The proudest of the Bar had never to complain that th 
eeived no credit at his hands for eloquence or ability, and the 
humblest barrister \\ho occupied the farthest bench had never 
to murmur that his feeble efforts met with no encouragement. 
Even the youngest student approached him with respectful 
assurance, and there are many who will recall with grateful 
remembrance the kind and assisting hand he extended to them. 
To all he exhibited the same patient attention and equality of 
temper; and it was truly remarked, by the learned treasurer of 
the Law Society, that during all the time he sat on the Bench, 
xtending over a period of nearly the third of a century, no 
one could recall an unkind expression, or remember a single 
instance of impatience. But the appreciation of his judicial 
services was not confined to the precincts of the Courts. The 
whole country has borne testimony to his worth. People had 
long been accustomed to look with confidence to his decisions, 
to regard the purity of his administration of justice as the 
foundation of their liberties, and his impartiality as the palla- 
dium of their most cherished rights. Nothing that we can pen 
will add to the unsullied purity of his character, for never did 


ermine grace truer nobility. Blameless did he preserve the 
chastity of his oath. With no cause unheard, no judgment 
perverted, "he did well and faithfully serve our Lady the 
Queen and her people in the office of Justice; he did equal 
law and execution of right to all the Queen's subjects, rich and 
poor, without having regard to any person. " 

To pass from my father's more purely judicial life 
to his other interests and occupations, I may say that 
up to his death he supported to the utmost of his 
power all public enterprises, which he considered to 
be of advantage to the province. 

The severance of the ex-qffido offices of President 
of the Executive, and Speaker of the Legislative 
Council, from that of Chief-Justice reduced his 
official salary after 1840 by about one-fourth, 1 and 
the head of the Bench in Upper Canada received from 
that date a smaller income than the holder of the 
office had drawn in the early days of the Province. 

This, of course, affected him seriously in a pecu- 
niary sense, and he writes as to it :- 

When I withdrew from the office of Attorney- General and 
a leading practice at the Bar, had I imagined that, after years 
of increasing labour, I should be liable to have a large portion 
of my income suddenly withdrawn, I could never have ventured 
to place myself at my age (he was then thirty-eight), in a 
situation so precarious. 

But it has been the results of changes over which the 
Government in England and here have probably felt that they 
could exert little influence ; and I have neither made any appli- 
cation to the Legislature which alone could give redress, nor 
have I desired that any should be made on my behalf. 

I feel that I am within the truth when I add 

1 460 a year, or over 500 Canadian currency. See Appendix A., vi. 


that he regretted the reduction in the emoluments 
pertaining to the post of Chief-Justice as much upon 
public as personal grounds, as it affected the ability 
of the holder of it, when not a wealthy man, to sup- 
port many objects of public utility to the same 
extent which had formerly been possible. 

He took a deep interest in the promotion of the 
Welland Canal, and also, though not to the same 
direct extent, in the Rideau Canal. 

The directors of the former canal wrote to him 
thus on the 5th June 18:3,** : 

As one of the first and most efficient supporters of the 
Welland Canal, the Board of Directors have the satisfaction to 
inform you that for the purpose of testing its great importance 
as a public work, it is now completed, though much has yet to 
be done to make it such as it should be for the greaK>l 
usefulness. . . . 

With a full knowledge of the great interests of the country, 
and the beneficial effect of this work upon its prosperity, you 
were its warm and decided advocate. 

When the prospect of its success was clouded with doubt, 
when many of its friends were appalled, and some relaxed their 
efforts to sustain it, the Board always placed a confident reli- 
ance on your powerful aid, and were never disappointed. . . . 

On behalf of the country, as well as the stockholders, we 
offer to you our grateful acknowledgments of your efficient and 
undeviating support in the most trying emergencies during 
the whole time this great work has been in progress to its 

With the highest respect and esteem, 

We are, sir, your most obedient servants, 




Speaking, in " Canada and the Canada Bill," of 
the importance of the Welland and Rideau Canals, 
he says : 

Upper Canada has been greatly favoured by the liberality 
of the parent State. The Welland Canal was assisted by a loan 
of X50,000 ; and the Rideau Canal was constructed wholly at 
the charge of Great Britain. The former work has been for 
some time completed, and in use, though a large expenditure is 
required for substituting stone locks instead of the wooden 
ones, which it was necessary to be content with in the first 
instance. In its present state, it effectually overcomes the ob- 
structions presented by the Falls of Niagara to the communi- 
cation between Lakes Ontario and Erie. The income derived 
from it has probably doubled in a twelvemonth. It is clear 
that under such circumstances reimbursement, though it may 
be distant, is certain. 

The Rideau Canal was undertaken while the Duke of Wel- 
lington was in office, and with a view chiefly to the military 
defence of the province. Its value in that respect is apparent. 
It secures the defence of Canada, up to Kingston, by affording 
a passage for troops and military and naval stores, independent 
of the St. Lawrence, and it remedies the evil of that singular 
arrangement by which a small streamlet parting from the 
waters of the St. Lawrence and coursing round Barnhart's 
Island was accepted as the main channel of the river, though 
it is easily fordable by persons on horseback or on foot : and 
the effect is to bring us almost within pistol shot of what has 
thus been made the territory of the United States. 

I think the time is not distant when it will cause some 
feeling of regret that the officer who planned it, and with such 
remarkable energy and spirit carried it forward to its comple- 
tion, should have died without receiving some mark of honour 
from his country. I speak of the late Colonel By. 1 

In the American war of 1812, it cost, I believe, upwards of 
<500,000 to build one ship of war on Lake Ontario; the 
heaviest part of the expense being occasioned by the transpor- 

1 Bytown (now Ottawa), was called after Colonel By, R.E., who 
planned this work. See note, p. 310. 


tation of her stores and equipment from Montreal to Kingston, 
which two points are now connected by the Rideau Canal. 

He actively encouraged the improvement of water 
communication on the Lakes. 

Captain Richardson one of the well-known pio- 
neers of steam navigation on Lake Ontario, and 
who, in 1842, named the steamer which for some 
years plied between Toronto and Niagara The Chief- 
Justice Robinson, thus warmly acknowledges the 
support he received from him : 

I came to this country with two letters of introduction. 
The one failed me, the other \\as invaluable. I struggled for 
years ineffectually, until your sound advice and generous sup- 
port enabled me to get up a steamboat. 

You know how my enterprise would have been crushed but 
for your generous friendship in energetically coming to my rescue. 

Successful at last, and prosperous for many years, still I 
often experienced many difficulties, and in all I unhesitatingly 
flew to you for advice, and ever met the same friendly support. 

In n i_ m and sorrow your heart seemed to warm the 

more towards me. 

For some years he was president of the Canadian 
Institute in Toronto, and contributed towards its 
building fund and library. 

He took a deep interest in the " Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," a 
society most liberal in its assistance to Canada, and 
which in 1839 was sustaining very many of its mis- 
sionaries. Of this he was for some years one of the 
treasurers for Upper Canada and afterwards vice- 

He was also interested in the " Society for the 
Promotion of Christian Knowledge," and in the 


" Church Society of the Diocese of Toronto," founded 
chiefly through the efforts of Dr. Strachan. 

The object of this latter society was to " promote 
the advancement of religion through the ministry of 
the Church of England " by the dissemination of the 
Scriptures, by assisting resident and travelling mis- 
sionaries, the clergy and their families, by promoting 
Sunday and parochial schools, and in various other 

In a letter addressed to Dr. Strachan on llth 
December 1841, when the establishment of this 
society was being discussed, he urges the necessity 
that existed, under the circumstances of Upper 
Canada, for the friends of the Church to turn their 
attention without delay to the best means of provid- 
ing for its support and increase, and dwelt upon the 
advantage of having a lay committee in the society 

What I contemplate (he writes) is the promoting the sup- 
port of the Church of England in a spirit and by measures 
which shall be wholly unexceptionable; giving no just cause of 
offence or jealousy to any, but with a constancy and fidelity 
that shall not abate in the slightest degree from an appre- 
hension of what persons, who choose to act in an unchristian 
and unreasonable spirit, may think, or say, or do. 

Of the above society, he was a vice-president, and 
also one of the lay committee which was formed. 

In alluding to his having moved two resolutions 
on the 28th April 1842, when the society was for- 
mally founded, the Church newspaper says : 

He (the Chief-Justice) avowed his determination to devote 
himself, with an earnest zeal, to the furtherance of the import- 
ant object of which his own provident and comprehensive mind 
had already seen the necessity ; and for carrying out which he 
had himself proposed a scheme of the most permanent and ex- 
pansive character. 


The good work done by this society is well known 
in Upper Canada. 

In efforts to procure an adequate endowment for 
the see of Toronto, he exerted himself actively ; and, 
in short, it may be said that in all matters connected 
with the Church, while keeping to what was befitting 
his position on the Bench, he was always ready to 
give his utmost support and assistance. 

Very frequently his advice on these matters was 
sought by Bishop Strachan. 

In certain respects their minds were differently 
constituted, though on many subjects they cordially 
agreed. This the following extracts from letters 
illustrate : 

I have read your Lordship's proposed letter carefully, but 
have made no change in it, because I can understand that if 
your Lordship adopts the course, you will determine to carry it 
out in the spirit in which it is begun that you will make the 
design and execution correspond. 

I say this with reference to many expressions which read 
strong- &nd threatening-; and which, as human nature is generally 
constituted, would drive those who are addressed to persevere in 
their course rather than otherwise in fact, scarcely leave it in 
their power to recede from it. ... Whether anything is to be 
effected by threatening a violent opposition is matter of opinion 
on which people will differ. . . . Still that can exempt no one 
from the obligation to do what he believes to be right. . . . 

I have read over your Lordship's pastoral letter with very 
great and sincere pleasure, and have seldom or never seen in 
any paper so little that I would desire to see changed, either as 
to the matter or the form of words. It is very characteristic, 
clear and unflinching, earnest and practical. I have no doubt 
it will be very cordially received by the members of the Church 
and warmly seconded. I send a scrap which may come in per- 
haps in place of a sentence on the third page. 


I find the thanks of the Church Society conveyed 
to him formally in 1846 for the grant of 1| acres ot 
land in the village of St. Albans for the site of a 
church there, and again in 1849 for that of about ten 
acres of land east of the Don towards the endowment 
of the living of Trinity Church, Toronto. 

Already, in chapter vii., I have mentioned a grant 
for the site of a Methodist Church at Holland 

But I will refer no further to this subject, nor to 
his charitable donations of various kinds, for I feel 
that he would not himself have desired it. 

His relations with those who represented the 
Queen in the colony were, of necessity, less constant 
and intimate after his connection with the Executive 
Council and the Legislature had ceased, but he re- 
tained the regard and confidence of them all from 
Sir Charles Bagot to Lord Monck until his death. 

The opinions of the representatives of the Crown 
with whom he had worked in the earlier and more 
troublous times of Canada must have been more 
than gratifying to him. 

Those of Sir Gordon Drummond and of Lord 
Seaton appear sufficiently in this memoir. 

Sir Francis Head writes thus in his work, " The 
Emigrant," published in 1846 : 

Of Chief-Justice Robinson's character I will only allow 
myself briefly to say, that a combination of such strong re- 
ligious and moral principles, modesty of mind, and such in- 
stinctive talent for speaking and writing, I have never before 
been acquainted with ; that every Lieutenant-Governor of Upper 
Canada has, for the last twenty-five years, expressed an opinion 
of this nature ; and that, by general acclamation, it would, I 
firmly believe, be acknowledged by every man in our North 
American Colonies whose opinion is of any value. 


And, in a letter to my father, Sir George Arthur 

says : 

... I believe few men placed in so elevated a position, in a 
community so long agitated by political ti-oling. would have 
sustained for so many years, amongst all classes, a character for 
ability, industry, and purity of purpose, with a devotion to the 
best interests of your native country, which, however much per- 
sons may conscientiously differ from you on political points, 
ought at least to warm the heart of every man towards you 
who truly regards Canada as his home. 

In October 1843 he paid a visit to the town of 
Peterborough in Upper Canada, five years after the 
death of his brother Peter who had founded it, and 
who died, unmarried, in Toronto in 1838. 

On this occasion he was welcomed by an address 
of 150 of the inhabitants as "One whose interests in 
the welfare of the place is of long duration, and as the 
representative of him to whom our flourishing town 
owes its foundation and its name." 

He mentions having visited Peterborough also in 
1827 together with Sir Peregrine Maitland, Bishop 
Macdonell, Colonel Talbot (well known in connection 
with the Talbot Settlement in Western Canada), his 
brother Peter Robinson, and Colonel Hillier, when it 
consisted of but a few log houses. 

Mrs. E. S. Dunlop thus alludes to this visit : *- 

The immigrants formed a line on each side of the road for 
a quarter of a mile to receive the Governor and his party, who 
were in five sleighs. At the time it was settled at a dinner 
party (given by the governor) that the village should be called 

1 " Our Forest Home/' being correspondence (privately published) of 
the late Francis Stewart, by Mrs. E. S. Dunlop. 


Peterborough in honour of Colonel Peter Robinson. 1 The 
name was suggested by my mother. 

Mrs. Dunlop's mother (Mrs. Stewart) was the 
wife of Mr. Francis Stewart, who had emigrated from 
Scotland and settled at Auburn in the parish of 
Douro, near where Peterborough now stands, and her 
husband, writing of Peter Robinson's Emigrants on 
July 20, 1826, to the Rev. Mr. Crowley, says : 

I have always found them satisfied and happy. Some have 
told me with tears in their eyes, that they never knew what 
happiness was until now. I conceive that this is greatly owing 
to the great care of Mr. Robinson in regard to their complaints 
and studying their wants. 

Colonel Talbot, who was of the party with my 
father on the above visit to Peterborough, was on the 
staff of Colonel Simcoe, then Governor of Upper 
Canada, when he founded York, now Toronto, in the 
last century. A brother of Lord Talbot of Malahide, 
he and the future Duke of Wellington had at one 
time been A.D.C.'s together on the staff of the 
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Subsequently, when 
quartered in Canada, Colonel Talbot determined to 
form a settlement well known since as the " Talbot 
Settlement "-in the western district, and built near 
Port Talbot, on Lake Erie, a log-house, called 
" Malahide Castle." 

With ample means, but devoted to the wild life 
of the bush, he lived for years after his first arrival 
as an almost absolute ruler among his settlers, miles 
from any other point of civilisation, and (it is said) 
marrying and baptizing his own people, and doing 

1 He was colonel in the Canadian Militia. As to the Irish emigrants 
he brought out to Canada see chap. vi. 

xii COLOXKI, TAIJ50T 337 

with his own hands much of his farm and household 
work. For many years he paid an annual visit to my 
father in Toronto, and I perfectly recollect, as a ! 
seeing him at Beverley House. 

Below I ijive some extracts from his letters to my 
father, and may mention with regard to the first, that 
the date of keeping the Talhot anniversary to which 
it alludes, was subsequently altered by him to Friday, 
the 20th May, " so that they can dance into the 21st, 
the proper day." 

It will be seen, from the year of the letter, that 
this was the jubilee, or fiftieth year, of his arrival with 
Governor Simcoe in Upper Canada. 

Colonel Talbot died in 18,5:5, in his eighty-second 
year, having shortly before this visited England for 
the last time. 

POUT TALimr, ~th J/nntnri/ 1842. 

MY DEA1 f'niKK, In my last letter I forgot to request 
that, in your arrangement for the Spring Circuit, you would 
not let the London Court interfere with the Talbot Anniver 
which will be on Monday the 23rd May as the right day, the 
21st, will be on Saturday, and as I only once a year appear on 
the stage, the fuller the house, the more gratifying. I had but 
>ne letter by the last packet, the 1st Dec-cm i 

The Queen Dowager better she gave the messenger who 
>rought the account of the birth of the Prince of Wales ^lOO. 1 
Believe me, very simvivlv vours, THOMAS TALHOT. 

PMIIT TALBOT, llth I :4i. 

MY Di AH Cim.i, Your kind letter of the 6th instant was, 1 assure you, a great treat. Little did I think, when I first 
arrived in Upper Canada, with Governor Simcoe, in 1792, that 
I should live to see the present time. I believe my friend 
Allan 2 and myself are the only two left. 

1 The present Kinjr Kilwanl VII. 

- William Allan, father of the late Him. (i. \\ . Allan, of Moss Park, 


I have got into two rooms of my new house the walls are 
dry, but the chimneys smoke most aggravatingly, but I keep 
doors and windows open. I enjoy good health, but feel the 
cold more than I did in my younger days. 

I should be delighted if you could muster nerve, and drive 
to Port Talbot when the sleighing is good, as I am actually 

By a letter received from the Aireys, I understand that 
Mrs. Airey^s youngest brother was about to be married to a 
Miss Le Froy. Is she a sister of your Le Froy^s ? 1 

With my most affectionate regards to Mrs. Robinson, and 
every individual of your family, I remain, always sincerely 

To turn to my father's home life. 

Between the years 1843 and 1848 five of his 
children were married. 

Augusta, on 31st October 1844, to Captain J. M. 

Lukin, on 15th May 1845, to Elizabeth Arnold. 

Emily, on 16th April 1846, to Captain J. H. 
Lefroy, R.A. 

Louisa, on the same date, to G. W. Allan, and 
John Beverley, on 30th June 1847, to Mary Jane 
Hagerman. (See Appendix B.) 

An extract from a letter of my father's to Mr. 
Berthon, of Toronto, a portrait painter well known 
in Canada, which I give below, is connected with 
the marriage of these three daughters. The picture 
alluded to in it was a gift to my mother from her 
three sons-in-law, on the day her daughters Emily 
and Louisa were married, and she and my father 
heard of it for the first time on their return from 

1 A cousin the grand-daughter of Chief Justice Lefroy. I give the 
spelling Le Froy as in Colonel Talbot's letter. 

xii HOMK LIFE 339 

the marriage service at the Cathedral, on the 16th 
April 1846. 

I cannot delay in thanking you for the very great pit 
which Mrs. Robinson and I have received from vour charming 
picture, and we are extremely obliged to you for the /eal and 
interest with which yon must have entered into the views of the 
conspirators, in order to fulfil so happily what was so kindly 
planned. Our dear little girls arc, as we think, faithfully and 
characteristically portrayed. 

My father was, from inclination, very hospitable, 
and during the years dealt with in this chapter, 
when Toronto was much smaller than it now is, 
Beverley House was one of the centres of much that 
went on in it. A garrison of some size, a large family 
connection, and strangers often passing through with 
letters of introduction, made social gatherings fre- 
quent, and have left with me a recollection of meeting 
many people who were then, or became afterwards, 
well known in the world. 

Few, I think, have enjoyed more uninterrupted 
married happiness, through many years, than my 
father did. Writing to my mother from Cobourg on 
the 5th June 1847, he says : 

You do not forget, I am sure, more than I do, that we have 
this day been married thirty years, the full term of a generation. 
In all things how good God has been to us. Ours has been no 
common lot. 

This happiness was, I need scarcely say, mainly 
due to the admirable character of my mother, who 
combined judgment and decision with great unsel- 
fishness, and no one could have acknowledged her 
value to him, in every relation of life, more gratefully 


than my father. Sir Henry Lefroy, writing of the 
year 1846 in Toronto, says 

The brightness of Beverley House (at that period) cannot 
be depicted. Mrs. Robinson, then about fifty-two, still retained 
much of the great beauty of her youth. She had a most 
charming manner. 

Looking back, I have often felt that as children 
we were exceptionally fortunate in our home. 

Up to 1852 there had been no break in the family 
circle. The first great sorrow of my father's married 
life was the death in that year of his daughter Louisa 
Mrs. Allan when travelling with her husband in 
Italy. She was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, 

A few years afterwards (1859) his daughter Emily 
Mrs. Lefroy died, in London. She was buried 
in Crondall Churchyard, Hampshire, not far from 
Itchel (now Ewshott) House the family home of 
the Lefroys. 

In 1850, the statutes of the Bath having been 
modified so as to admit of the Order being granted 
for civil as well as military services, Lord Elgin, 
Governor- General of Canada, was desired to inquire 
if it would be acceptable to my father to be made a 
companion of the Order and he was shortly after- 
wards gazetted a C.B. 

In May 1851 he went for a short trip to Virginia, 
meeting in Richmond his daughter Mrs. Allan, and 
her husband, who were on their return from Cuba. 

On this trip he visited Washington, Fredericks- 
burgh, Richmond, Williamsburgh, and Yorktown. 
Some of these places had a special interest for him. 


At Williamsburgh he went over William and Mary 
College, of which his ancestor Christopher Robinson 
had been a trustee under the original charter of ir*!W, 
and where his father had been educated. 

At Yorktown he saw the scene of the siege, and 
of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis's army, of which 
his father's regiment formed a part, in 1781 since 
which time none of his descendants had been in 

On a steamer upon the river Potomac between 
Washington and Fredericksburgh he was introduced 
to Mr. Conway Robinson (of the Vineyard near 
Washington), a leading member of the bar, and chair- 
man of the Executive Committee of the Virginia 
Historical Society. 

He also met Mr. Richard Randolph and several 
other well-known Virginians, some of whom were 
connected with branches of his father's family, and 
from whom he received much kindness and hos- 

" I found myself at once," he says, "among 
friends and connections. 

Mr. Conway Robinson, descended himself, I 
believe, from a Yorkshire family, and most probably 
from a relation of Christopher Robinson of Hewick. 
corresponded with him frequently afterwards, and 
procured for him, and subsequently for me (in 1875) 
when I visited him at the Vineyard, many interesting 
particulars connected with our family. 



Foundation of King's College and Trinity College and his association 
with them Created a Baronet Letters from the Duke of 
Newcastle and Lord Seaton Congratulations of the Bar Outbreak 
of the Crimean War. 

IN the establishment in Toronto of the University of 
King's College, now the University of Toronto, and 
subsequently in that of Trinity College, my father 
took a great interest. 

On this account, and because their histories are 
connected, I will refer especially to the foundation of 
these two Universities. 

In 1789 the United Empire Loyalists who, driven 
from the United States, had settled in Canada, 
applied to the Government to afford them religious 
and secular education for their children, which after- 
wards General Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor 
of Upper Canada, exerted himself to procure for 

His views were that, in addition to grammar 
schools, a university was required, to inculcate 
" sound religious principles, pure morals, and refined 
manners." 1 

In 1797 the Legislature of Upper Canada ad- 
dressed the Crown, praying that lands might be 
appropriated for the support of grammar schools 

1 Letter to the Bishop of Quebec, 30th April 1795. 



and of a university, * k for the instruction of youth in 
the different branches of liberal knowledge." 

It is to be observed here, and it is important, that 
the Legislature itself, in this address, did not directly 
desire that religious instruction should be included in 
the University course; and to accuse it, therefore 

been done, of a breach of faith in ultimately 
excluding it, does not seem justified ; but at this 
time religious instruction went hand in hand with 
secular in all the great I T ni versities of the British 

The King, in reply to the address, granted an 
appropriation of lands for the support of grammar 
schools, and also of higher seminaries (such as univer- 
sities) for the " promotion of religious and moral 
learning and the study of the arts and sciences/' . . . 
and it was the prospect thus opening in connection 
with both religious and secular education which 
brought the future Bishop Strachan to the colony. 

Grammar schools were before long in operation, 
but it was some years before the circumstances of 
the colony and an income from the interest on the sale 
of lands, justified a University charter being granted. 
This, chiefly through the exertions of Sir Peregrine 
Maitland and Dr. Strachan, was secured in 1827. 

It established ' 4 King's College " at York, in Upper 
Canada, " for the education and instruction of youth 
and students in arts and faculties," the recital stating 
that such establishment " for the education of youth 
in the principles of the Christian religion, and for 
their instruction in the various branches of science 
and literature which are taught in our Universities in 
this kingdom (the United Kingdom) would greatly 
conduce to the welfare of our said province." 


But, although the charter was thus obtained in 
1827, a delay of sixteen years occurred before the 
University could be built and opened, owing chiefly 
to the following causes. Sir Peregrine Maitland, an 
active supporter of it, had been transferred to another 
government ; the all-absorbing events of the Re- 
bellion and the Union of the Canadas occurred, and 
last, though not least, a feeling was growing up 
that the National Church of England could not, 
from many circumstances, be made the National 
Church of Canada, that feeling which led subsequently 
to the secularisation of the Clergy Reserves. 

Controversy respecting the provisions of the 
charter went on continually in Parliament and in 
the press, these provisions being looked upon as 
giving too much influence to the Anglican Church, 
and the terms of the charter were, in consequence, 
much modified, 1 chiefly in the direction of reducing 
ecclesiastical influence in the council of the college. 
The Judges of the Queen's Bench were appointed 
visitors instead of the Bishop of the diocese ; the 
President was not necessarily to be an ecclesiastic ; 
several of the higher officials of the Government 
were to have seats on the Council in order to give 
lay influence ; and the one connection now left with 
the Church of England was that there was a Pro- 
fessor of Divinity of that Church, and that chapel 
services in accordance with the prayer-book of the 
Church were conducted for those students who 
belonged to it, others not being required to attend. 

It was under this modified charter that King's 
College opened in 1843, amply endowed with the 
proceeds of 225,944 acres of valuable land. 

1 By 7 William IV. c. 16. Rev. Stat. U.C., p. 811. 


My father never approved of the modifications 
which had been made in the charter. 

Speaking at the time (184:5) of the opening of the 
college, he says : 

I feel a satisfaction melancholy indeed it is, because m\ 
humble efforts were unavailing, but a satisfaction which I could 
unwillingly have foregone that I was led, by no motive, ever 
to concur in those alterations which deprived this University of 
a distinctly religious character. 

It is very true that we are not in England, Ireland, or 

Scotland, and it mav be imagined that a less sound feeling, in 

f such momentous importance, is characteristic of this 

country. If it be so, it is more to be deplored than any other 


But the members of the three largest Christian communities 
in Upper Canada, unconnected with the Church of England, 
_nven evidence of very different views. They have each 
given the strongest proof that what they desire in their own 
case is a college which shall be avowedlv in strict and un- 
doubted communion with their own persuasion. If this had 
not been the feeling, we should not have heard of Queen's 
College or the colleges of Victoria or Regiopolis. In tlii^ 
they have judged soundly of human nature, and yielded an 
honest testimony to what their consciences approved. 

I must explain the above remarks by saying that 
the evident tendency to secularise totally education 
in King's College had not appealed much more to 
many members of the Church of Scotland, or of the 
\Vesleyan or Roman Catholic Churches, in Upper 
Canada, than to those of the Anglican. 

They could not feel as was but natural per- 
fectly satisfied with any religious teaching in the 
college other than that of their own Church ; and 
would have welcomed any Government measure 
which diverted part of the college endowment + 


education in connection with their own communion ; 
but the severance of religious instruction from Uni- 
versity teaching was not what they approved. The 
members of the Church of Scotland established 
" Queen's College " at Kingston in connection with 
their own Church, the Wesleyans "Victoria College" 
at Coburg, and the Roman Catholics " Regiopolis 
College" at Kingston. 

Though my father had been opposed to the 
modifications made in the charter of King's College, 
he rejoiced at the successful completion of the efforts 
to open the University, of which, as Chief- Justice, he 
now became a visitor. Religious instruction was 
still to be given within its walls, and he hoped that 
the charter would not be further interfered with. 

He was now instrumental in obtaining for King's 
College the Wellington Scholarships, afterwards re- 
moved to Trinity College, and to which I shall allude 
further on, and my brother Christopher 1 was sent to 
the college, where he graduated, and become one of 
its gold medallists. 

At its formal opening my father expressed the 
hope that with the establishment of the University 
there would grow up in Canada " something of the 
traditional spirit and elevation of character which, 
insensibly working in her noble Universities, have 
made England what she is." 

But the charter was to be yet further, and very 
radically altered. 

Under the conditions of party and religious feeling 
in Upper Canada, it was deemed impossible by the 

1 Christopher Robinson, K.C., Beverley House, Toronto. 


Legislature to continue to maintain, from public funds, 
a University in connection with the Anglican Church, 
or any form of religious teaching. 

In 1849, by an Act (12 Viet. c. 8'J), which was 
not interfered with by the Crown, and in order, as 
the Act purported, that <k the just rights and privi- 
leges of all may be maintained without offence to 
the religious opinions of any," it was provided that 
henceforth education in King's College was to be 
exclusively secular. The name of " King's College " 
was also altered to that of "The rniversity of 

No ** minister, ecclesiastic, or teacher, under and 
according to any form or profession of religious faith 
or worship whatsoever " was to have a scat in the 
" Senate/' as the governing body was to be termed : 
no religious observances were to be imposed in the 
College, and no Professorship of Divinity allowed. 

When all religious teaching was thus excluded 
from the University of King's College, some thought 
that it would sufficiently meet the views of those 
opposed to this measure if they were enabled by 
public grants in aid to educate their youth in 
theology outside its walls. 

My father, writing as to this view, says : 

Some would seem to think that they would content the 
Church of England, and all others, by furnishing them with 
the means of educating their youth in theology, apart from 
King's College. That is doing nothing. 

There is no serious difficulty now in the Church of England 
or Scotland, or the Roman Catholic Church, finding means to 
do this without public aid. A salary of ^200 per annum, with 
fees to be paid by students, would secure the services of some 


respectable clergyman, if no more could be got but we could 
get more. 

Lord Elgin also, in a letter to the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, on the 4th February 1851, 
says that those who advocated the change in the 
charter of King's College in 1849 believed that the 
several denominations " would provide schools or 
colleges in the vicinity of the University for the 
religious training of the youth of their respective 

But my father, and those who concurred with 
him, desired more than this for the University 
education of the youth of Canada. 

What the Act secularising University education 
had done was to destroy in a fundamental point the 
resemblance between the Toronto University and 
those great English residential Universities of Oxford 
and Cambridge, to the system and training at which 
he attributed, rightly or wrongly, much of that 
" traditionary spirit and elevation of character which 
have made England what she is." 

Under this system, students, as a rule, reside in 
their colleges, the advantage of which is generally 
admitted by University men in after life, and religious 
and moral teaching and influence go hand in hand 
with secular work. They are interfused with the 
latter, give tone to it and to the daily college life, and 
are not matters outside of it. They are imparted by 
teachers who are themselves convinced of the value of 
such influence, and who instruct in secular subjects 
as well ; and these teachers, by mixing with the 
students in their college amusements, interests, and 
occupations, have a greater weight in the formation 


of the characters of those under them than others, 
not similarly situated, can hope to h; 

My father and many more considered this system 
the most perfect University one; and so, although 
they could not hope to obtain a better secular educa- 
tion than that given at the University of Toronto, or 
one imparted by more able Professors (many of them 
Churchmen) than those who formed its staff*, they 
determined to found, if possible, a new University 
upon another basis in connection with the Anglican 

Bishop Strachan, though seventy-two years of age, 
proceeded to England, where an influential com- 
mittee among the members of which, it may be 
mentioned, were Lord Seaton and Mr. (Gladstone 
co-operated with him in his object. An appeal for 
funds was warmly responded to both there and in 
Canada; and it illustrates this to say that, though 
there were in Upper Canada at this time but few 
wealthy men, very many contributed over 100 ; 
several 500 (in money or land) ; some 1000 (among 
them Bishop Strachan himself) ; Mr. Enoch Turner, 
1700 ; and Dr. Burnside, 6000. In England the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel gave 
4000 ; the Society for Promoting Christian Know- 
ledge, 3000; the University of Oxford, 500; Mr. 
Turner, of Rook's Nest, Surrey, 500, and there were 
other liberal contributions. In all, over 40,000, 
afterwards added to, was soon collected, and a petition 
to the Queen for a royal charter was signed by 
nearly 12,000 people, chiefly heads of families. 

The building of the college was then proceeded 
with, and it was formally opened 15th January 1852, 
having, pending the receipt of the royal charter 


applied for, received its Act of Incorporation as 
a college, without degree-conferring powers, from 
the Legislature of Canada. 

The charter was granted 16th July 1853 by her 
Majesty's command, ordaining and providing that 
" the said college shall be deemed and taken to be a 
University, and shall have and enjoy all such and the 
like privileges as are enjoyed by our Universities of 
our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland." 
My father was elected the first chancellor, continu- 
ing to hold the office until his death, and taking 
always the keenest interest in the welfare of the 
University. 1 

Thus Trinity College was founded from the 
contributions of individuals and public bodies inde- 
pendently of the State, and in connection with the 
Anglican Church, modelled in all respects, including 
collegiate residence, upon the English Universities of 
Oxford and Cambridge, and with a Provost and Pro- 
fessors from these Universities. 

At the opening of the college, on 15th July 1852, 
my father said : 

Ours is no new faith. It is not from the Reformation that 
the Church of England dates her existence. We are not 
separated from other Christian communities in consequence of 
any recent adoption on our part of a doubtful interpretation 
of some text of Scripture, or any modern scruple in regard to 
forms. Nothing else we most fondly venerate not the glorious 
flag of England, nor the great Charter of our liberties has 
from its antiquity so strong a claim to our devotion as our 
Church. It is the Church which, from age to age, the Sovereign 
has sworn to support : centuries have passed since holy martyrs 
have perished at the stake rather than deny her doctrines. . . . 

1 I was^ent to the college by him at its opening, and graduated there 
in 1855. 


And the Rev. Provost \Vliitaker on the same 
occasion thus spoke : 

The foundation of this college is a solemn protest against 
the- separation of religion from education. We have joined 
together what others have put asunder, . . . and what, i* we 
believe, God joined together from the beginning. 

Much has been written, in not too dispassionate 
a spirit, with respect to King's College and Trinity 
College, and the religious questions connected with 
their history, but it should not be overlooked that the 
majority of those who, like my lather, contributed to 
establish Trinity College upon the system which I 
have explained, were laymen, professional men, and 
business men; few of them comparatively were 
ecclesiastics or theologians. Certainly those of them 
who had sent their sons to King's College under its 
very modified charter in 1843 cannot fairly be accused 
of extreme Church views. 

Hut they were convinced, from the highest con- 
siderations and also from the experience of practical 
life, that the separation of religious and moral teach- 
ing from University education was a wrong step ; and 
that if the State was compelled of necessity to sever 
them, then they, as individuals, must exert themselves 
by private effort to reunite them. They were of 
opinion that a University should before all things, as 
General Simcoe said, " impart religious and moral 
learning ; " that all secular instruction of youth should 
have its basis on such learning ; and, as Dr. Arnold 
of Rugby wrote, be made " subordinate to a clearly 
defined Christian end." Holding these views, had 
they not exerted themselves as they did, when 
religious worship and instruction were excluded from 


King's College, to found another University, they 
would have acted less fully up to their convictions 
than had those earnest men of other Christian com- 
munions who had founded " Queen's " and " Victoria " 
and " Regiopolis " Colleges. 

From the day on which it was opened until now, 
i.e. for more than half a century, 1 Trinity College, 
under some opposition and many difficulties, has con- 
tinued to fulfil its mission. 

It is the last college in Canada founded upon a 
royal charter, and it is to be confidently hoped that, 
as time goes on, it will grow, as Oxford and Cam- 
bridge have done in England, in the confidence and 
affection both of Churchmen and of the people at 
large, and with the power afforded by more material, 
as well as moral support, be enabled much further to 
extend its sphere of usefulness. 

As the history of the Wellington Scholarships 
now enjoyed by Trinity, but originally by King's 
College, has a close connection with my father, I give 
extracts below from letters of the Duke of Welling- 
ton regarding them. 

On the 29th April 1844 the Duke wrote to 
him : 

You will probably have heard that I some years ago subscribed 
a sum of money towards the payment of the expense of the con- 
struction of the Wei land Canal, and that I am in fact the 
proprietor of shares in that work. I was subsequently disposed 
to form the intention of relinquishing those shares, and I 

1 To the zealous exertions and unfailing support of the late Hon. G. 
W. Allan, D.C. L,, who was connected with it, as a trustee, from its com- 
mencement, and was its chancellor for twenty-three years, Trinity College 
owes very much indeed. After his death he was succeeded as chancellor 
by my brother, Christopher Robinson, in January 1902. 


intended to present them to the Province of Upper Canada, 
and imagined that I had done so. 

But the enclosed letter l has apprised me that I had never 
carried into execution that intention, and the shares are mine 
at this moment. 

Under those circumstances I venture to trouble you, and 
request you to point out to me in what manner I can dispose 
of these shares so as to be most serviceable to the Province of 
Canada, or any district thereof, it being my wish to consult you 
exclusively upon this subject, and intention to follow exactly 
the course which you will su^ 

After I shall have received your answer to this letter, and 
with the of your advice shall have determined upon 

the course which I shall follow with regard to the disposition 
of the property, I will, of course, write to Mr. Merritt. . . . 

In reply to this letter, my father suggested more 
than one object for the Duke's consideration, but 
inclined to the view that, as the stock would found 
one and probably two scholarships, it would be well 
to devote it to the cause of education in this way, by 
founding such scholarships in King's College, which 
had just been opened ; and he added that it would be 
always felt to be a proud distinction of the Canadian 
University that the Duke " had consented to asso- 
ciate so closely with it a name which must last as 
long as anything is taught in colleges or schools." 

At the same time he gave the history of the 
College, the modifications which had been made in 
its original charter, and the possible danger of these 
being carried further in the future. 

1 This was a letter from Mr. William Hamilton Merritt, of St. Catherine's, 
Upper Canada, the original projector and a very active promoter of the 
Wt'llund Canal. The Duke of Wellington had, at a critical period of its 
fortunes, given an impetus to the canal by taking twenty-five shares in it 
(value then 500), and Mr. Merritt drew his attention to the fact of his being 
still the holder of these shares, and made some suggestion with respect to 
them. In the interim they had become considerably more valuable. 



In response the Duke wrote ; 

WALMEB CASTLE, 28th September 1844. 

MY DEAR SIR, I have to apologise for having allowed so 
much time to elapse without answering your kind letter of llth 
July, but Parliament was still sitting when I received it, and 
my time was so fully occupied that I had not leisure to peruse 
and consider the various papers which you were so kind as to 
send me, and to determine upon the course which I should 

I have now perused all the papers with the greatest atten- 
tion, and I think that I quite understand the subject ; and I 
have determined that I will avail myself of the Act of Parlia- 
ment of the Province of Canada, the 7th Queen, chapter 34, and 
authorise the disposal of my interest, or share, or shares, in the 
Welland Canal, and with the produce thereof found a scholar- 
ship in the King's College, in Upper Canada. 

... I beg accordingly that having disposed of this stock 
in the Welland Canal, 1 you will dispose the proceeds thereof in 
the foundation of a scholarship in the King's College, Upper 

I should wish this scholarship to be for your life at your 
disposition. Afterwards at the disposition of the Chief Justice 
of Upper Canada, of the Chancellor of King's College, and of 
the President of the same institution, or the majority of the 
three, each of them being a professor of the doctrine of the 
Church of England. 

I desire that you, during your life, and the officers above 
mentioned, when they will have the disposal of and nomination 
to the scholarship, will select him whom they may think most 

But, in case the son of an officer on half- pay of Her 
Majesty's Army, settled in Canada, should become a candidate 
for this benefit, and his claim, from merit and proficiency 
in his studies, should be considered equal to that of other 
candidates, I wish that the preference should be given to 

1 A power of attorney to my father for this purpose was enclosed. 


the son of the officer on half-pay of I In- Majesty's Army 
settled in Canada. . . . 

I have desired to found this scholarship in the Kind's 
College, Upper Canada, in consequence of inv conviction of the 
connection of that institution with the Church of England, and 
of its having a Royal Charter^under the Great Seal of England ; 
but if the character in this respect of this institution should be 
altered, bv the- exercise of any power or authority, and the 
friends and professors of the doctrines of the Church of 
England in Canada should form another institution for the 
promotion of learning, religion, and virtue in connection with 
the doctrine of the Church of England, I desire that the 
scholarship or scholarships thus formed bv the sale of the stock 
belonging to me in the We Hand Canal in the King's College 
may be removed to Mich other institution. . . . 

I have the honour to be, my dear Sir, your most faithful 
and obedient humble Servant, \Yi 

Mr. ( 'biff-Justice JOHN HKVKHI.KY UOUIN 

Power was given to those who had the disposition 
of the scholarship to create a second one, if the funds 
permitted. The proceeds of the stock, with accu- 
mulated back interest, enabled debentures of the 
value of over 1100 sterling to be bought, from the 
interest of which sum two scholarships were endowed. 

In accordance with the Duke's instructions, when 
all connection of the University of Toronto with 
religious teaching and the Church of England had 
ceased, and Trinity College been established, these 
scholarships were removed to the latter College, 
where they are now held. 1 

To understand the existing relations between the 
University of Toronto, which is the State University 

1 My father's grandson, ('. S. Machines, won by examination the 
Wellington Scholarship in Classics for 1891, the method of award having 
been changed to open competition, and became Fellow and Lecturer in 
Trinity College in 1893-94. Another grandson, Christopher C. Robinson, 
son of my brother Christopher, won it in the year 1901. 


of the Province of Ontario (formerly Upper Canada) 
and Trinity and other Colleges of the Province, it is 
necessary to refer shortly to what has taken place 
since 1852. 

In the interval between that date and the present 
time the University of Toronto (once King's College) 
has undergone several changes. 

In 1853 it was reconstituted much upon the 
system of the " University of London," on which it 
was mainly modelled, and it was laid down that the 
literary and scientific attainments of persons obtaining 
degrees were to be similar to those in force at that 

As there are points of similarity, in other respects 
as well as in their constitution, between these two 
Universities, I will mention that the University of 
London was initiated in 1825 by Campbell the poet, 
(whose name has occurred more than once in these 
pages), Lord Brougham, Joseph Hume, and certain 
influential men who dissented from the doctrines of 
the Established Church, and were under some dis- 
abilities at other Universities at that time. 1 

In 1828, when it opened, it was distinctly non- 
theological in character, but in 1829 a section of its 
supporters, dissatisfied at its being altogether dis- 
sociated from the Established Church, founded 
" King's College," London, with a view to add to the 
secular instruction the inculcation of " the doctrines 
and duties of Christianity as the same are inculcated 
by the United Churches of England and Ireland." 

This combination was so far successful that in 
1836 the University of London was reconstituted into 

1 " Encyclopaedia Britannica " (Universities). 


two parts, viz., the " University of London." to 
examine and confer degrees only, and "University 
College, London," a collegiate teaching institution 
the latter and " King's College, London," being both 
incorporated with the University. 

The University of Toronto was in 18,5:5 similarly 
re-constituted into two parts, viz., "the University of 
Toronto," an examining and degree-conferring body 
only, and " University College," a collegiate teaching 

There are no resident students in the College. 

Since then various changes have taken place in 
the statutes affecting the University, of which some 
have been introduced with a view to facilitate the 
federation or affiliation with it of other universities 
and colleges ; and now the existing law is embodied 
in -The University Act," 1901 (ch. 41, 1 Edward 
VI I.), which provides that 

Any Univer>ity in the Province- of Ontario which suspends 
its power to confer such degrees ;is it ni;iy be authorised to 
confer (excepting decrees in theology) shall be entitled to be 
represented on the Senate of the University, 1 and to be known 
as a " Federated University " (s. 20 (1) ). 

The curriculum in Arts of the University shall include the 
subjects of Biblical Greek, Biblical literature, Christian ethics, 
apologetics, the evidences of natural and revealed religion 
and Church history but any provision for examination and 
instruction in the same shall be left to the voluntary action 
of the federating Universities and colleges, and provision shall 
be made, by a system of options, to prevent such subjects being 
made compulsory upon any candidate for a degree (s. 24 ('3) ). 

In proportion to the number of student;- in each Co' 


The Council (of University College) may make regulations 
touching the moral conduct of the students and their attend- 
ance at public worship in their respective churches, or other 
places of religious worship, and respecting their religious 
instruction by their respective ministers according to their 
respective forms of religious faith, and every facility shall be 
afforded for such purposes provided always that attendance 
on such form of religious observance be not compulsory on 
any student attending the University, or University College 
(s. 23(1)). 

The University Act, 1901, has in a degree altered 
the relations between the University of Toronto and 
University College. The college was incorporated 
with the University ; now it is on a somewhat similar 
footing with respect to the latter as other federating 
colleges, though supported by the same endowment 
and partially under the same management. 

The provisions of the Act, as shown above, permit 
of religious instruction and moral training being 
voluntarily carried out, and allow certain religious 
teaching to find a place in the Arts course for a 
degree, while, at the same time, the terms of the 
charter of the University of Toronto, under which 
there can be no Faculty of Divinity in that Univer- 
sity, and no religious observances or worship can be 
compulsorily imposed, are adhered to. 

Of the chartered, or incorporated, Universities and 
colleges in Ontario, Victoria (Methodist) has within 
recent years federated with the University of Toronto ; 
while of colleges and institutions not enjoying Uni- 
versity powers, several have affiliated with that 
University, and some with Trinity University. 

Up to the year 1903, however, it had not been 
found practicable to come to any arrangement under 


which Trinity University, without the concession of 
fundamental principles, could federate with the Uni- 
versity of Toronto ; but, within the past few months. 
after prolonged negotiations, conditions of federation 
have been formulated which the corporation of Trinity, 
and many of those deeply interested in her welfare. 
both clergy and laity, have considered that it is both 
proper and desirable to accept, the arrangement to be 
a tentative one for three years. After this Trinity 
could, if desired, revert at any time to her indepen- 
dent position, her degree-conferring powers (except in 
Divinity) being held in suspense during federation. 

These conditions I will not here enlarge upon, 
as they have been lately much discussed in Canada, 
where those interested in University matters arc 
familiar with them, and to completely enter into 
them requires a reference to many details. 

To sum up the sketch which I have given of the 
origin and progress of the Universities of Toronto 
and Trinity College shows that the organisation and 
regulations of the former are not now what they 
were when Bishop Strachan established the latter in 
1852. The educational circumstances of Toronto, the 
capital of the Upper Province, have also altered. 

At that time all religious worship and instruction 
had been abolished in the University of Toronto, and 
it was deemed necessary to found one upon a different 
basis. Now Trinity College, with her religious wor- 
ship and teaching, and her residential system, exists. 
in which what was then abolished is imparted in 
accordance with the tenets of the Anglican Church, 
and this would continue to be the case under 

Important changes also have been introduced into 


the University of Toronto ; the relations to it of Uni- 
versity College and other colleges under federation 
have been modified : and the curriculum of Arts in 
the University of Toronto includes religious teaching 
within certain limits. 

Federation, therefore, can now at all events be 
regarded by Anglican churchmen, although it in- 
volves a sacrifice of degree-conferring power on the 
part of Trinity College, in a light which it could not 
have been a few years ago, and the members of 
Trinity who have advocated it have, equally with 
those who are opposed to it, but one object in view, 
viz., the success of the University in carrying out 
and promoting the main purposes for which it was 

I have entered above at what may perhaps be con- 
sidered undue length into questions concerning Trinity 
College, on account of my father's close connection 
with the University, and because I am aware that he 
had its welfare much at heart. 

For whatever he may have been able to accom- 
plish for it in its earlier years, the reward he would 
have sought is its prosperity, while maintaining the 
principles upon which it was founded ; and that those 
educated there may continue, for all time, to say : 

" And till life's latest hour my lips shall bless 
The first good Bishop's work, and not the less 
His name who pupil, counsellor, and friend 
Aided in guiding to its prosp'rous end 
This labour : faithful still through toil and loss 
Fair learning's vine to twine upon the Cross." l 

1 Congratulatory poem read by Mr. C. E. Thomson at my father's 
installation as Chancellor of Trinity College, 3rd June 1853. 


In 1854 my father was created a Baronet of the 
United Kingdom, his patent being dated 21st Sep- 

Shortly before, though he was entirely unaware 
of it, some of those well acquainted with his public 
services, who were then in England, had taken an 
opportunity of speaking of them to the Duke of 
Newcastle, Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

Lord Seaton, to whom this had been mentioned, 
then communicated with my father, and wrote him- 
self to the Duke, stating what had come within his 
own knowledge when Governor-General and in com- 
mand of the forces, and adding : 

The duties of his high and important offices have be 
efficiently diacharged that no public servant has ever been more 
revered, or held in greater estimation than he at present is in 

He subsequently sent to my brother-in-law, 
Captain Lefroy, a copy of his letter and of the fol- 
lowing reply to it from the Duke of Newcastle : 

D<U ' : l f k JtlUf ! 

l)i AK LOUD SEATON, I regret that, from the pressure of 
business and the numerous preparations attendant upon the 
division of ollices which has lately taken place, I have not been 
able hitherto to reply to your letter of the 27th May resper 
Chief-Justice Robinson. 

Long, however, before the receipt of that letter, I was fully 
aware of the course of public services and many other great 
merits of the Chief Justice, and also of the general estimation 
in which he was, and is, held in Canada, and it was my inten- 
tion, before leaving office, to leave some mark of public recog- 
nition which would bear an honourable testimony, both to the 
province and to himself, of his past valuable services. 

I sincerely rejoice, however, that I have received your letter, 


as bearing out to the full extent my own views, and I take the 
earliest opportunity of informing you that I have already 
received the Queen's most gracious approval of the recommen- 
dation that a Baronetcy of the United Kingdom should be 
conferred upon Chief Justice Robinson. Believe me, dear 
Lord Seaton, yours very faithfully, 


Lord Seaton wrote also to my father, 19th June 
1854 : 

It will be satisfactory to you to know that the Colonial 
Minister had determined, before he left that Department, to 
recommend some mark of distinction to be conferred on you. 

I congratulate you sincerely on this recognition of your 
public services, and I am confident that it will afford the highest 
satisfaction at home and in Canada west and east. 

You will have heard of the sudden death of our old friend, 
Sir Peregrine Maitland, with great sorrow. 

Lord Elgin, Governor- General of Canada, in 
notifying the Queen's intention to create him a 
Baronet, added a kind private note expressing the 
pleasure which this gave to him personally. 

There were also many warm letters of congratula- 
tion from public bodies and private friends, and the 
Bar of Upper Canada, in an address conveying to him 
their satisfaction, said : 

All will bear testimony to the manly and becoming dignity, 
the patient attention, and the considerate and gratifying 
courtesy which have invariably characterised your Presidency 
on the Bench and your intercourse with the Bar. . . . 

We cannot be forgetful of the important part your Lordship 
has borne in maintaining, by influence and example, the high 
tone and dignity of the one, and in respecting on all occasions 
the position and privileges of the other. 

xni CHI MEAN WAR 363 

In 1854 the war with Russia (Crimean \Var) 
broke out, in which many from Canada took an 
active part; 1 and Sir Francis Head, writing to my 
father on 28th May 1854, thus refers to the death in 
action of Captain A\ r . Arnold, 2 whose sister was the 
wife of my brother Lnkin, and who, while on leave in 
Canada, had volunteered for service and joined the 
Turkish Army on the Danube : 

You will, I know, regret to learn that I have this morning 
received from Colonel Steele, Lonl Raglan's Military Secretary, 
a private note informing me of the death in action of our noble, 
gallant, young friend, William Arnold. On account of his 
gentlemanlike bearing and high chivalrous spirit, Lady I 
anil I really and sincerely entertained for him maternal and 
paternal regard. 

Captain Arnold joined a Division of the Turkish 
Army at Giurgevo on the Danube on the evening 
previous to an attack made upon the Russian 

it ion at Rustchuk on the opposite bank, in which 
he and two other British officers (out of four in all) 
and 700 men fell. 

I may add here that it was largely in appreciation 
of the contributions from Canada to the Patriotic 
Fund raised after this war that I subsequently (in 
November 1857) received my own commission from 
the Prince Consort in the Rifle Brigade, of which he 
was Colonel-in-Chief. 

1 Ainoni; others who distinguished themselves may he mentioned 
Lieutenant (afterwards Colonel) Alexander Dunn, awarded the V.C. for 
bravery in the Litrht Cavalry i-harjre at Balaclava. 

2 Son of John Arnold, Esq., of Toronto, brother of Colonel Arnold, 
10th Lancers, who commanded the Cavalry Brigade in the Afghan War. 




Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton, Sir F. Head Appointed Vice-President, S.P.G. 
Bishop of New Zealand (Selwyn) Rev. Ernest Hawkins, Judge 
Haliburton, Colonel Sabine Royal Society Club House of Lords 
York Assizes Samuel Warren, Parke, Cresswell, Canon Vernon 
Harcourt Nisi Prius Court Bishop of Exeter, Hallam, Lord 
Lyndhurst Death of Sir R. Inglis Westminster Hall The 
Exchequer Court Oral judgments House of Lords, Arguments 
on a Scotch appeal King's College, London Sir E. Ryan, and 
appeal cases from Canada Levee, St. James's Palace Sir H. 
Holland, G. W. Bramwell, Q.C. Queen's Birthday dinner The 
Great Eastern Dr. Cumming, Sir H. Rawlinson, Captain M'Clure, 
Faraday Visits Bath, Freuchay, and Cleasby Dublin : Lord 
Carlisle, Lord Seaton, Chief-Justice Lefroy Killarney Cork 
Oxford : made Honorary D.C.L. Sir J. Burgoyne Murchison, 
Willes Pemberton Leigh and Canadian judgments Lord Campbell 
and Baron Parke as to taking evidence of parties to a suit Guernsey 
Return to Canada. 

IN 1855 my father and mother paid their last visit 
to England, where my sisters, Emily (Mrs. Lefroy) 
and Mary (afterwards Mrs. Maclnnes), were at this 

They left Toronto on the 13th January, sailing 
from Boston on the 17th in the Cunard steamer 
Asia, Captain Lott, and were away from Canada a 
little over seven months. After touching at Halifax, 
they reached Liverpool on the 30th January, and 
went thence to Brighton, where my sisters were then 
staying, and took rooms at 10 New Steyne. 

During this visit, which was unconnected with 
any public duty, my father made short trips to Ireland 



and Guernsey ; to Oxford, where he was given the 
honorary degree of D.C.L. ; to Frenchay, near Bristol, 
where Colonel W. H. Robinson 1 was then living, and 
to Cleasby in Yorkshire. He saw again several of 
those whom he had met when last in England in 
1838-40, including Sir F. Head, Lord Lyndhurst, 
Sir Robert Inglis, and Sir J. Pakington ; but Sir 
Robert Peel, Sir Wilmot Horton, and the Duke of 
Wellington had in the interim passed away. 

I give now some extracts from his journal : 

I found all well at Brighton.' 2 We went to see Mrs. Hamil- 
ton Hamilton, daughter of Sir Frederick Robinson. I think 
I had not seen her since 1815 at Kingston, where her father 
commanded the forces, and was administering the civil govern- 

She was then a most lovely young woman, and is still a fine 
one animated, intelligent, and agreeable devoting herself 
wholly to the care of her husband, who has been for many 
an invalid. lie was British Minister at Rio de Janeiro. 

I received verv kind letters from Sir Robert Inglis. Mr. 
Turner, 3 and Sir Francis Head, proposing that I should visit 
them. Sir 11. Inglis gave me choice of days when I would dine 
with him, and begged of me to name any persons whom I should 
like to meet. 

On February 4 and 5, 1855, Sir Francis Head, 
who, since my father's last visit to England, had 
moved from Warwickshire to Oxenden in North- 
amptonshire, writes : 

I was indeed glad this morning to see your handwriting, 
coupled w : th the postmark " Woolwich."" My first feeling wa> 

' Son of 8ir William and grandson of Colonel Beverley Robinson. 

2 This entry is without date. 

3 Of Rook's Nest, Godstone, Surrey. 


one of thankfulness that you and Lady Robinson had got safe 
across, my second of joy that you and I were once again on the 
soil of good old England. Whether you arrive here by night 
or by day, " in thunder, lightning, or in hail," you will meet 
with a hearty welcome. 

I have been in what I call " Jail " for the last six weeks, in 
consequence of my horse having reared up and fallen back- 
wards on my knee and ankle, but I hope to be able to resume 
my " circuit," i.e. my hunting, as soon as the frost leaves us. 

Since you were here Canada has grown into a great country, 
but Oxenden has not only not grown, it has shrivelled up, in 
consequence of the railway having drawn off the high road every 
single mail and store cart. Twenty years ago more than 100 
per day passed now not one. . . . Remember that by select- 
ing Saturday as your day for coming here, you will enable me 
to introduce you to the quiet service and interior of our little 
village church, which I think you will be pleased with. I feel 
quite happy at the idea of your being in England. 

In the old country, where your face and blue cloak are not 
known, I hope you will feel that for the few months you are to 
be among us, you are fairly entitled to enjoy your holiday ; let 
your moustachios l grow, and do as you like ! 

Sir John Pakington also writes : 

I have heard with great satisfaction of your visit to 
England, and I look forward with great pleasure to seeing 
you again. 

Journal continued. 

3rd February (Saturday). I went by railway to Chelten- 
ham to see Mr. Merry, now in his ninety-fourth year. 2 

Some days after I went to town and dined with Sir 
Robert and Lady Inglis. I met there the Bishop of Lichfield 

1 Moustachios were now just coming into general wear in England. 
Before the Crimean War they were worn, as a rule, by heavy cavalry 
alone. Sir Francis probably knew that my father, like many others of 
his date, had no great liking for them. 

2 He died on the 23rd November following. 


(Lonsdale), Lord Hatherton, Mr. Arthur Mills, Mr. Dudley 
IVrcival, son of Spencer IVrcival, 1 and si-vi-ral oth 

I received a letter from tin- Socirtv for the Propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts informing nu- that I had lately 
1>< n elected a vice-president, and by special request attended :i 
meeting of a select committee appointed to report on the late 
Clergy Reserves Act passed in Canada, and a letter from the 
Hishop of Toronto of 6th January thereupon. I found the 
discus-ion very pleasantlv and courteously conducted, and I 
believe I was of use. On this occasion the Bishop of Liehfield, 
Lord Hohert Cecil, Mr. Hawkins, and the Bishop of New 
Zealand- were present. The Bishop of London came in for a 
short time. 

I saw much to admire in the Bishop of N'ew Xi-aland, who 
was to sail in about ten days for his diocese, in a small \ 
of his own, which he navigates as captain. He has a good 
athletic frame, broad square shoulders, not encumbered with 
flesh, a fine forehead, good face, kind expression of counte- 
nance, yet shrewd and determined, and speaks most fluently 
and to the purpose full of good humour, and with great life 
and spirit, seeming at home in everything. 

I had before attended the February monthly meeting of 
the Society, at which from thirty to forty were present. The 
Bishop of Jamaica 3 spoke of my nomination to be vice-president 
in very complimentary terms. 

I dined with Krnest Hawkins, 4 Dean Street, Park Lane, 
the Bishop of Lichfield, "Sam Slick" (Judge Haliburton), 
Charles Lefroy, Mr. Hickards and wife, Mr. Walker, Henry 
and Emily, and some others, a pleasant party. 

Mr. Haliburton was in great spirits has a book just coming 
out I had much talk with him. 4 

1 Prime Minister assassinated by Jiellingham in the House of Com- 
mons, lolL>. 

-' The well-known Bishop Selwyii. 
Aubrey George Spencer. 

4 Of tin's party "Henry" is Captain (afterwards Sir Henry) J. H. 
Lefroy, Charles Lefroy, his brother, the Rev. Krnest Hawkins, and 
Mr. (afterwards Sir (icor-tO Kirkards, his brother-in-law. The Hev. 
Krnest Hawkins was Canon of Westminster and secretary to the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel. Judge Haliburton's book was no 
doubt "Nature and Human Nature," published 1855. 


Judge Haliburton was an old acquaintance of my 
father, and in connection with his name I give the 
following note from him, written a few years before 
this date : 

WINDSOR. NOVA SCOTIA, 14Jh September 1847. 

MY DEAR CHIEF-JUSTICE, I received your note with very 
great pleasure. 

It would afford me infinite gratification to have an oppor- 
tunity of renewing my acquaintance with you, either here, in 
Canada, or in dear old England. There are many subjects 
which I should delight in talking over with you, in most of 
which I believe we fully agree. 

These are, however, all too prolix for the limits of a note, 
which only enables me to assure you of my very great respect 
and regard. I am, my dear Sir, yours always, 


Journal continued. 

Dined and breakfasted with Sir Robert Inglis. We had 
agreeable parties. Henry and Emily, Colonel Sabine, the 
Bishop of Jamaica, Mr. Mills, Mrs. Erskine and daughter, and 
various others. Sabine * I had not seen since he was in Canada 
in 1814-15 as lieutenant of artillery. 

I was taken by Sir Robert Inglis to dine with the Royal 
Society Club at the Freemasons 1 Tavern at six o'clock. Sir 
Robert presided. There were Sir Benjamin Brodie, 2 Professor 
Wheatstone, 3 a man of remarkable talent, unassuming and 
amiable, with a great turn for mechanical science. 

Sir Benjamin Brodie looks well and active, but is thin and 
stoops. He sat next me. I had seen a good deal of him when 
I was last in England. 

1 Sir E. Sabine, R.A., served in the war in Canada in 1813-14. He 
established magnetic observatories in Toronto and the colonies generally 
in 1840. President of the Royal Society 1861, and died in 1883 in his 
95th year. 

2 Sir Benjamin Brodie, the celebrated surgeon, President of the Royal 
Society, 1858-62. 

3 Professor Wheatstone was the first to render the telegraph available 
for the public transmission of messages. 


Sir Robert Inglis proposed the health of tli s, and 

was pleased to express himself in terms quite tot) laudatr 
iin . st.!itinj what Sir Robert Peel had told him of the impres- 
sions he had derived from his conversations with me. I had to 

something in reply, only two or three 1 sentem 

Th'- secretary read (as all papers are read here by the 
secretary) a long paper by a Mr. Gosse, I believe the naturalist, 
who lived for some years in the townships of Lower Canada, 
on some subject of entomology- 1 After it was read Mr. 
Huxley - spoke on its general features, partly agreeing, partly 

Whoever set our Canadian Institute going I believe 
Lefroy ---copied very exactly the routine of proceedings at 
sik-h meetings in England. 

In the Royal Society's room I saw on the table an old 
thick volume, in which evcrv Fellow of the Society has signed 
his name, among others Charles II., Newton, John Kvelvn, and 
celebrities without end. 

I attended a debate in the House of Commons, when Lord 
Palmerston gave his explanation of his taking office as Premier, 
after Lord J. RusselPs retirement. It was an interesting 
debate. I heard besides Sir J. Graham, Disraeli, Roebuck. 
Layard. Duncombe, and many others. Lord Palmerston 
shows best in replying to an attack. Disraeli said some 
caustic clever things, but was too laboured not easy and 

My father constantly attended the Law Courts in 
England, when opportunity offered, being interested 
in comparing their procedure with that of the 
Canadian Courts. 

I got, he writes, from Julius Airey 4 a printed circuit paper, 

1 Philip H. (lO-ise. author of the '"'Canadian Naturalist." 

- Huxley, well-known naturalist, President Royal Society, died Hi!). r >. 

3 Sir Henry b't'roy had much to do with the Canadian Institute at 
Toronto, and was its president for three or four y 

4 He and his brother, Sir Richard (afterwards Lord) Airey, were 
nephews of Colonel Talbot (see chap, xii.), and had been in Canada for 
some years. 

2 A 


as I wished to attend the assizes at some town where I should 
probably see the business best conducted ; and I chose York, as 
Parke and Cresswell were to preside there, and I should have 
time to see the Minster well, and make acquaintance with Dr. 
Morris living near. Julius gave me a note to Mrs. Cresswell, a 
relative of his. They were then on the circuit at Newcastle. 

Sir Francis Head writes to him a little later on : 

I was, and am, amused at your affection for our Courts of 
Law. I should have thought that during your holiday they 
would have been the very last places you would have visited. 
" Mais on retourne toujours a son premier amour, 11 and you 
therefore leave Lady R. for your first love, " The Court." 

As my father's references to well-known Judges 
of this date may have an interest to legal men, 
especially in Canada, I give several extracts from his 
Journal alluding to them. 

Journal continued (no date). 

I saw Lord Campbell and Chief-Justice Jervis, and Pollock, 
trying causes at the Guildhall. I liked Jervis's manner 
best. I saw also Sir William Page Wood, 1 and V. C. Stuart 
sitting in Equity. 

On Tuesday, 6th March, I left London at half-past nine 
A.M., for York. Fitzgerald of Toronto was going to Edin- 
burgh, and I proposed to him to go with me and stop a day 
or two at York. 

We went to the Minster for afternoon service at four 
o'clock. I had a letter to Dr. Bower, D.C.L., a brother-in- 
law of Dr. Morris. Dr. Morris 2 came over from Driffield to 
meet me here, and next day we both dined at Dr. Bower's, and 
met an agreeable party, among them Samuel Warren author 

1 Afterwards Lord Hatherley, Lord Chancellor. 

2 Dr. Beverley Robinson Morris, descended from the Colonel Morris 
who married Mary Philipse, the sister of Colonel Beverley Robinson's 
wife (Susannah Philipse: see page 13), afterwards came out to Canada and 
practised as a medical man for a time in Toronto. 


of "The Diary of a London Physician," and * ri 0.000 a 
Year" now Registrar of I lull, ami attending the Assi/es here 
;i> a barrister. A pleasant man, looking young and in great 
spirits. I saw the Criminal Court opened by Cresswell ] on 
Wednesday, and on Thursday went and introduced niv^elf to 
him. He made me sit bv him, and asked me to dine with him 
and .Judge Parke on Friday, which I did. The Grand Jurv 
were of the party, and many others. Baron Parke 2 was late 
in getting away from the Ni.M Priiis Court, and kept us an 
hour, but he made up for all when he came, so full of good- 
humour and fun, the very picture of it. The foreman of the 
Grand Jury is Lord Dundas. 

Baron Parke took Fitzgerald ami me with him in his 
carriage to U evening party at the " Residence House." Mr. 
and Mrs. \V. Vernon llarcourt were our hosts. He is Canon 
Residentiary, and one of the Prebends. :; We met here a large 

The High Sheriff (Mr. Brown of Kossington) called on me 
and asked me to dine with him on Sunday. On Sunday I went 
to the Cathedral. The Judges, Sheriff, Mayor, and Corpora- 
tion went in state. The choir was crowded. It was a spec- 
tacle well worth crossing the Atlantic to see. The Cathedral 
appears to me perfect, especially this portion of it. We had a 
pleasant party at the Sheriffs (twelve, I think). 

Mr. and Mrs. llarcourt sent a kind invitation to dinner on 
Tuesday, which I was obliged to decline. 

I went next day into the Nisi Prius Court, where Baron 
Parke presided. 

I was amused with the Baron's good-humoured way of 
getting through the business. He let counsel take their own 
course, and very rarely interrupted them, and never seemed 
impatient ; laughed at all the jokes, whether good or bad. 
Once when a counsel strenuously persisted in endeavouring to 

1 Sir Cresswell CresswelJ, Puisne J mi-re ( ourt of Common Pleas, after- 
wards Judge of Court of Probate and Divorce ; died 1863. 

2 Baron Parke was in 185G raised to the Peerage as Lord Wensleydale. 

3 Canon of York 1H'24, was virtually the founder of the British Associa- 
tion ; died 1871. 


establish some point of law which the Baron thought absurd 
and untenable, he said, " Surely you don't mean to contend 
so and so," and on the counsel earnestly stating that he did, 
the Baron laughed outright in his face, as much as to say 
" You're a funny fellow, to be sure," and merely said, " Oh, 
nonsense, nonsense," and so put an end to the argument much 
more conveniently than by treating it seriously, and bringing 
on the kind of altercation that we often see in Court. 

Cresswell is a most able Judge. I can conceive nothing of 
the kind better than his summing up of a criminal case. He 
keeps the whole thread of the narrative and the ins and outs 
of the evidence wonderfully clear in his mind, and remarks on 
the testimony in an impartial, reasonable, and particularly 
lucid manner, but he has not Parkers amenity, courtesy, and 

From the time my father left York until the 18th 
April 1855, he kept no journal, which, he says, " I 
am sorry for, as I met many pleasant people, and saw 
much that was worth noting." 

He evidently, however, visited Sir Francis Head, 
as the latter writing from Oxenden on the 1st April, 
says, " I have been very constantly thinking of the 
happiness I and Lady Head enjoyed at seeing you 

He also mentions dining at Sir John Pakington's, 
whom he saw again more than once on this visit. 

Journal continiied. 

18th April I dined at the Bishop of Exeter's, 17 All 
marie Street. Next me on my left was Hallam, 1 now 
eighty, but hale, and with all his faculties perfect, his memory 
excellent, and great good-humour. He would make me pi 
cede him in going in, notwithstanding my insisting that I 

1 Hallam, the historian, author of ( ' View of the State of Europe dui 
the Middle Ages" (1818). 


" after the Middle Ages." Next him sat the Bishop, Mi-. 
Phillpotts never dining on such occasions. Next him was 
Lord Lyndhurst, then Baron Alderson, 1 Mr. ('avi-iulish. Sir 
William Heathcote, Lord Lovaine son of Lord Bevc 
the Bishop of Peterboro\ 2 a son of Lord- Justice Kiiight-Uruce, 3 
and the Lord Chief-Justice himself, who sat on my right. We 
had much delightful conversation, especially from Hallam, the 
Bishop of Exeter, and Lord Lyndhurst, the youngest of whom 
is seventy- seven. All remembered hearing Pitt, Fox, Burke. \c. 
We had no end of professional anecdotes of the Bench and Bar, 
in which Baron Alderson ex> 

Lord Lyndhurst has become very infirm, but still clear and 
vigorous in his mental faculties. He did not come up into the 
drawing-room before dinner, but sat in the dining-room till 
dinner was announced, to save the fatigue of walking upstairs. 
After dinner he came upstairs without help. 

I like Alderson much. 

My excellent old friend, Sir Robert Inglis, died on Saturday, 
5th May. I had seen him a very few days before, when he 
told me that he was not recovering his strength after an i!! 
which had commenced with a cold in December last, and that 
he had been warned that he might drop off at any time 

It was so, in fact, for he was in his drawing-room in the 
evening, and died in the same night. 

I have not met more kindness from any one in England. 
Considering that our acquaintance was casual, commencing 
with his calling upon me in 1839 without any introduction, it 
was remarkable. 

Sir Robert Inglis's cordial friendship my father 
much valued. The YV///<.s, in announcing his death, 
says : "A more conscientious man never ent< 
the walls of Parliament. Destroy fifty able poli- 

1 Sir Edward Alderson, Judge, died 18,57. 

2 George Davys. 

8 Sir James Lewis Kuight-Bruce, Lord Justice, Court of Chancerv ; 
died 1866. 


ticians, and twice fifty able administrators, and it 
needs but five minutes' search to replace them, but 
we much question if there be a man in England 
who can take the place Sir Robert Inglis filled as 
representative of the University of Oxford." 

Journal continued. 

I attended, on two days, the Courts sitting in Westminster 
Hall in Term (Easter). 

Lord Campbell l despatches business well, is earnest in his 
attention, his hearing perfect, and his memory, as it seemed to 
me, quite unimpaired. 

In the Common Pleas, Jervis, C.J., 2 is an acute business 
man, but looks in ill-health. 

I was most in the Exchequer, because they were delivering 
judgments there. The Judges all gave their judgments orally 
from notes, as I suppose they generally do, when they dispose 
in the term of cases argued that term. These judgments 
delivered orally are far less satisfactory than written judg- 
ments rambling, and not so clear, or so well arranged. 

Parke, B., delivers his judgment clearly and pleasantly, 
giving his reasons distinctly and agreeably. Platt 3 was rather 
dogmatic " I totally deny," &c. Martin 4 spoke clearly and 
with a particularly good voice. 

. . . On the whole, I saw nothing very peculiar in the 
system here. Like circumstances seem to produce like courses 
and consequences, here and there (i.e. in England and Upper 

I went also to the House of Lords, and heard an argument 
of a Scotch appeal on the construction of a will whether an 
estate vested or not according to Scotch law. 

It was evidently an appeal in effect from a Court of several 
judges in Scotland to the English Lord Chancellor on a point 

1 Raised to the Peerage 1841 ; Lord Chief-Justice 1850 ; Lord Chan- 
cellor 1851). 

3 Sir John Jervis, Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas ; died 1856. 

3 Sir Thomas Platt, Baron of the Exchequer ; died 1862. 

4 Sir Samuel Martin, Baron of the Exchequer ; died 1883. 



of Scotch law, and that Chancellor often appointed from poli- 
tical considerations. It seems unsatisfactory, but I belie- 
not complained of. 

We attended, upon Dr. Jelfs l invitation, the annual dis- 
tribution of pri/es to medical students in Kind's Col. 
Somerset House. 

Kinma, Mary, and I took luncheon at the Principal 
at three walked over to the collt 

The Bishop of Winchester 2 presided and presented the 
prizes, and did it happily and well. 

I was asked by Lord Radstock to second the motion for a 
vote of thanks to the Hishop, which I did, and made a short 

At M'ClintockV Chester Square, I met at dinn. 
Edward Ryan, 4 P.C., a member of the Judicial Comm: 
diaries Lefroy, Mr. and Mrs Moodv >1: r of Bennett's 

father, our young friend in Toronto, and a clever, well-read 

I Sir Kdward Ryan spoke to me of the appeal case, Holmes 
. Matthews (just determined), said it was a very interesting 
one, and was most strong and emphatic in his praise of the 
ability shown in the judgment* sent from Upper Canada in 
that and the other cases. He said it was a matter of great 
remark every term. He regretted that I was not present at 
the argument and judgment, to hear in what terms our judg- 
ments \\ere ^pokeil of. 

llth MID/. I attended a levee at St. James's Palace. 
There was an enormous crowd not less, they said, than 

As I was rising I observed the Quei-n was saying something 
to me with a very benignant smile, and in a soft pleasing 

1 R. W. Jelf, D.D.. 1'rindpal of Kind's Colle::. 
-hop Sunnier, Bishop of Winchester j li5_7 

First Lord Rathdonnell, married Mi I.ef'rm, Bister of Sir Henry 

! Sir Kdward Ryan. Assistant Controller of the Kxchequer, If!" 
Had been Chief-Juttae of licn-ral ; died 1 

6 He was presented by tlie Secretary of State for the Colonies on re- 
ceiving the baronetage. 


voice ; but not expecting that she would say anything, I did 
not catch a word. I suppose it was some form of congratula- 

I wore the Order of the Bath and my Detroit medal. 
Warren l wondered what it could be, and was, or seemed, in- 
credulous when I told him that it was not on account of any 
fight in Court, but for taking part in the capture of Detroit 
forty-two years ago. 

I dined the same day with Mr. Franks of the Canada 
Company, 27 Cumberland Street, Portman Square. I observed 
here the new style 2 fully carried out. The gentleman of the 
house leads the way to dinner, with the lady among the guests 
who has precedence. The lady of the house stands fast, and 
the lady-guests keep their seats till she calls forward gentlemen 
one by one to take them out, having probably resolved before- 
hand who shall take whom. Then, when all were paired and 
sent off, I followed with her. 

In coming into the drawing-room, before dinner, the husband 
and wife in every case walked forward separately, not arm in 

I4fth May. I dined with Sir Henry Holland. His son 
having very lately lost his wife, he could have no large party. 
Besides myself, there was only Baron Alderson and Mr. Bram- 
well, 5 Q.C., one of the Common Law Commissioners and a 
leading counsel on the home circuit. Sir Henry Holland's 
wife is a daughter of the Rev. Sydney Smith, the Edinburgh 
Reviewer. There is just coming out a life of Sydney Smith 
written by her. 

Bramwell visited America, as I understood him, last year, 
and had a letter to me, but did not reach Toronto. He amused 
me, when I was introduced to him, by telling me that while 
in Lower Canada he inquired, " Suppose the independence of 

1 Samuel Warren, whom he had met at the levee, author of " Diary 
of a Physician," &c. 

2 This seems rather to fix the present custom as having come in about 

3 George William Bramwell, Baron of the Exchequer, 1856, after- 
wards Lord Bramwell. 

xiv QUEEN'S LEVEE 377 

Canada should be conceded, who would he fir>t President?"" 
and was told, "Without doubt, Chief-Justice Robinson ! " 

I told him that he must have fallen in with some of my 
confederates, but that I had no such aspirations. 

Sir Henry was warm in his admiration of Bond's Lake, 1 
which Christopher drove him out to see. 

Baron Alderson is full of fun and good-humour, and very 
unassuming in his manner. 

Sir Henry Holland 2 more than once visited 
America. The following is a letter from him to my 
father, written two years before this date : 

L':{ MHIIOK STIIKKT, LoiOXUTj March 1H, 1 ' 

MY DKAK CHIKI -.IIMK i:, Your letter of the 15th January 
uas in every way most welcome to me, but above all a 
expression of your friendship and esteem, upon which, whether 
meeting again or not, I shall ever set great value. 

Whether I may visit America a third time is doubtful. 
Perhaps (and I shall gladly believe this) it is more probable 
that you may come over to England, to see what we are doing 
on this side of the Atlantic. You will find this old country 
of ours in a prosperous state, and with every aspect and likeli- 
hood of further advancement, if we do not run on too fast, or 
if a war with France does not intervene. In the latter event 
few can bring themselves seriously to believe, but, strangely 
enough, a question thus deeply important really depends on 
the individual character and position of the man who has by a 
sort of miracle (made up, however, of sagacious cunning, bold- 
ness, and chance) placed himself on the throne of that country. 
Little did I think of this eventuality when (twenty-one years 
ago) I was called to attend him in a serious illness in a London 
lodging, or again, more recently, when I attended him profes- 
sionally about the time of his Boulogne expedition. I never 

1 About twenty miles north of Toronto. 

Very eminent as a physician, and created a baronet ; father of the 
present Lord Knutsford, for some years Secretary of State for the 


thought him a commonplace man, as many here did, but I must 
fairly own that I formed no conception of the singular faculties 
he has since displayed. . . . 

Let me entreat you to remember me with kindness to every 
one of your family now in Toronto. I shall ever retain a sense 
of your kindness to myself when with you. 

Farewell, my dear Chief-Justice, and believe me, with great 
regard, yours faithfully, H. HOLLAND. 

16th May. I dined with Lord Lyndhurst. I sat between 
Lord Hardwicke and Mr. Walpole, late Secretary of State. 
The rest of our party were the Marquis of Salisbury, Lord 
Stanley, Lord Campbell, C.J., and Edward Ellice Lady 
Lyndhurst the only lady. 

17th May. I dined with Ernest Hawkins. We had Judge 
Coleridge there, his daughter, son, and son-in-law, and several 

Coleridge l is a fine old man, most interesting in appearance 
and kind in his manners. We discussed many things, very 
agreeably to me at least. 

At half-past seven I went to 37 Chesham Street to the 
birthday dinner. 2 

The dinner has lost half its 'splendour as compared with 
former times, in consequence of the separation of the Depart- 
ment of War from that of the Colonies. When I was last here 
fifteen years ago, I dined at Lord Normanby's, then Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, and we had a very large and brilliant 
party, Lord Hill and all the Staff of the Army. . . . 

We had I suppose about twenty-four or twenty-six, 
found Lord John much older looking. He was very courteoi 
to me, and called me up next to the Duke of Argyll, who sal 
on his left. The Bishop of Sierra Leone, 3 just consecrated, w* 
next me on my left. Lord Elgin was on Lord J. RusselP 

1 Sir John Taylor Coleridge, Judge of the Queen's Bench ; retired 
1858 ; died 1876 ; father of John Duke Coleridge (Lord Coleridge, Soli- 
citor-General 1868, and afterwards Chief-Justice Court of Common Pleas). 

2 Dinner given on the Queen's birthday by Lord J. Russell, Secretary 
of State for the Colonies. 

3 John Wills Weeks. 


right, opposite to me. There were few others that I knew or 
whose names I caught. 

His Grace, Lord John, Lord Elgin, and I had a good 
deal of conversation together, and I had much talk with my 
neighbour, the Bishop. He told me he had lived twenty J 
at Sierra Leone. I found lie knew William Stanton well. 1 

I came home at half-past ten. Many houses on my way 
were brilliantly illuminated. 

18/7* Mat/. I went at half- past twelve to a meeting of the 
Financial Committee of the Society for the Propagation of the 
(iospel in Foreign Paris, as the matter to be- considered was the 
Bishop of Toronto's request for aid from the Society to enable 
us to carry out the Commutation Scheme. We spent two 
hours over the question. About fifty attended, clergy and 
laitv. Lord Powis spoke. He afterwards got himself intro- 
duced to me, when he thanked me in warm terms for the kind- 
ness he .said we had shown his brother, PC rev Herbert of the 4'5rd, 
in Toronto.- The Archbishop of Canterbury was in the chair. 

Dined at the Lefroys'. Met Aylmer, Julius Airev, and 
young Hobinson, grandson of Sir William, a clerk in the 
commissariat branch, at the War Office. 3 

19th May. Went with J. M'Clintock, Sir George Forster, 
Mr. Forster, and Mr. Vere from the Carlton Club to see the 
immense steamer, the Gn-at Eastern, building on the Isle of 
Dogs. We went from Hungerford Stairs in a small steamer 
down the river till we got opposite to the shipyard. Then we 
got into a small boat, rowed ashore, and visited the monster. 

She is 695 feet long, of iron, built in compartments, and 
we were told will have four engines, in all &500 horse-power, 
which seems small ; 4 she is but little advanced, but is expected 
to be launched this year. 

1 William Stanton of Toronto, and in the Commissariat Department. 

Afterwards Sir Percy Herbert, who was on the Quartermaster- 
(ii'iiend's Staff in the Crimea, and subsequently Quartermaster-General 
of the Army. 

3 \\". II. B. Robinson, died unmarried at Bermuda in 1!',.V>. 

4 This was one of the chief reasons probably for the want of 

the f-rrnt Ka*tern. Of our present largest steamers the Cflric and Celtic 
only exceed her in length by five feet, but their engines have seven times 
greater horse- power. 


May (Sunday). We went to Dr. Cumming's chapel, 
Crown Court, near Drury Lane. Mr. Moffat, M.P., our fellow- 
passenger from Boston, had given us seats which he had there. 
It was crowded. The sermon was remarkable for ease of 
elocution, grace, and fluency, without effort or any attempt 
at display, the matter sound and sensible. No clap-trap 
either in the sentimental or any other line. They are lucky 
Presbyterians who have such a pastor. 

2lst May. We went in a carriage with two horses, taking 
Emily with us, to Woolwich, to see Captain and Mrs. Young- 
husband l and visit the Arsenal. We lunched at the Young- 
husbands 1 , and then went with him and Jonas Jones 2 to the 
Arsenal. We were much interested in our visit to the various 

22nd May. I went to a conversazione at the S.P.G. rooms, 
79 Pall Mall, after having first gone with Henry Lefroy to 
see the experiments made by Mr. Goldsworthy Gurney on 
the power of the Bude light. I was amazed by the dazzling 
brilliancy of the light, and it seems to be obtained by a very 
simple process. I was much struck with Lefroy's quickness 
and apparent familiarity with the principles of optics and 
recent discoveries respecting them, as well as his ready com- 
prehension of whatever in chemistry or otherwise Mr. Gurney 
desired to explain to him. As soon as we had finished I went 
to the Society's gathering. About sixty or seventy persons 
were there. The Bishop of London, a bishop from Scotland, 
Lord Powis, Dr. Jelf, King's College, a mixture of clergy and 
laity, among them Tagore, the Hindoo Christian whom I dined 
with at Ernest Hawkins 1 , and a Samaritan, a tall, fine-looking 
man from Mount Gherizim. 

24*th May. Dined at Mr. Edward Ellice's, 18 Arlington 
Street, the curious old house of the Lord Arlington of the 
" Cabal " in Charles II.'s time. 

1 Afterwards General Youughusband (Royal Artillery). 

2 A son of the Mr. Justice Jones, Toronto, Canada, mentioned specially 
by Sir Francis Head in "The Emigrant" for services rendered to him 
in 1838. 


We had of our party, besides young Kllice. Lord Stanley. 
Lady DufFerin, Lord Francis Seymour, chairman of tin- Srl>a- 
topol Committee, and Lady Sevmour, a Major Ra\\ linson, 1 
who has only two days ago returned from Bagdad, lit 
not, he told me, intend going out again, finding he suffers from 
and the danger to health too great. I had next to me 
Captain McClure, 2 who made the North- Wed passage, though 
not with his ship. We had much talk. He -crvcd rigi 
months on the lakes in Canada, chieflv stationed at Kingston, 
and suddenly left it in 18J3S, in consequence of having violated 
the American territory in pursuing and taking Kelly, an 
iate of Hill Johnson's, and concerned with him in dest rov- 
ing the .Sir Hubert 7Y<7. 

29/// May. I went with Henry in the evening to a soi 
the Civil Kngiii'-crs, an annual mceti 

Westminster. Then- was an immense crowd of people. Mr. 
Simpson, C.K., presided. I saw there Farad 1; ige, 4 and 

many clever, eminent men. 

My father now left London for Bath. Frenchay, 
^leasby, &c., and writes : 

June. At 4 left Bath for Frenchav in a Hv. It is four 
miles from Bristol, a very pretty village. I found Colonel 
llobinson formerly in the 72nd Highlander.^ and still on 
half-pay an agreeable, well-informed man. His wife is a 
daughter of Admiral Buckle. 

We spent a most pleasant evening, and had much family 
chat about friends known to both. 

I saw portraits of Sir William Robinson and his wife 

1 Afterwards Sir Henry Rawlin-on, diplomatist and Orientalist, 
( <m-ul at Bagdad, 1844-65, Envoy to Peiv-ia IH.11). 

'-' Captain (afterwards Sir Robert) McClure, H.N.. di-cnvrred the 
North-West Passage, but had to abandon \\\< ship, the hu't'atiyntor. 
Parliament awarded officers and crew 'K>.Ooo. 

Michael Faraday, celebrated chemist and ph\ 11 1791, died 


' Charles Babbage, mathematician, inventor of the calculating 


Catherine, daughter of General Skinner. Sir William died in 
1837, she some years later. 

I saw also miniatures of Colonel Beverley Robinson and his 
wife Susannah Philipse, a good-looking couple. I thought I 
could trace Sir William's face plainly in his mother's, and the 
Robinson features and face in the Colonel's. They have also a 
handsome portrait of Sir William Robinson when about twenty, 
and one of General Sir Frederick Robinson small size, very 
like and showing him to have been, what he really was, a 
splendid man, though this was taken when he was very old. 

2nd June. Left Frenchay at 10 A.M., and got to Bristol in 
time for the train via Cheltenham, Birmingham, and Derby 
to York. It was eleven at night when we reached York, and 
at 2 A.M. I took the night train to Darlington, arriving there 
at 3.5 A.M., and went to the Sun Inn. 

3rd June (Sunday). Drove to Cleasby, three miles up the 
Tees from Darlington, in time for church. 

After church he made the acquaintance of the 
curate of Cleasby, the Rev. J. H. Coombe, who took 
him over the church and schoolhouse, showing him 
several things of interest in connection with Dr. John 
Robinson, Bishop of London, who, with his brother 
Christopher, the first of the family to emigrate to 
Virginia, was born in this village, where he built and 
endowed the schoolhouse and contributed to restore 
the church and parsonage. 1 

Describing Cleasby my father writes : 

The Tees is a fine, clear, rapid river, about the size of the 
Credit (in Upper Canada) with perhaps a larger body of water 
in it. The banks are of fine gravel. Cleasby is certainly not 
a go-ahead place, but is a sweetly situated, quiet, little country 
village, no appearance of decay about it, or of wealth or 
business. The whole population is about 200. It is what 

1 See Appendix A., i. 


is called a perpetual curacy, ami the incunih.-nt for the last 
sixteen years has been the Rev. James Jameson, who 
altogether at Kipon, and has t n ('k-n-l>Y tor the last 

ten years. I have heart! our Vice-Chancellor, the late Mr. 
Jameson, speak of his having a brother a clergvman living at 
Kipon, and have no doubt he is the same man. 1 

The place has an excellent reputation for health, especially 
in the case of those who have weak lungs. It is in the North 
Riding of Yorkshire, ami the little river Tees divides it from 
Durham. On all sides, from the high lands in the parish, the 
prospect is c-xtivnu-ly pleasing; the water is excellent. The 
situation is beautiful and convenient, near Darlington, good 
road", and pretty l;i 

There are many good families within a circuit of ten 
miles ... I have set down these particulars that if any of 
our family should desire to establish themselves in England, 
temporarily or otherwise, they may know that they could 
scarcely do better than buy a small tract, and put up a com- 
fortable house in the parish to which, in England, they belong, 
and what to some people would be a recommendation, though 
to others the reverse is that in the little village itself tin 
a good field for improvement, for it has been neglected, and is 
in consequence less taking to the eye than many others. 

Croft is two miles off, through a lovely country ; Durham 
about twenty ; Kipon between twentv and thirty. At the mouth 
of the Tees is Redcar, a bathing-place with beautiful sands. The 
drive through Appleby to the Lakes in Westmoreland and 
Cumberland is short about thirty miles or so. . . . 

In the evening he drove to Darlington, and re- 
turned to London via York on Monday, 4th June. 

Journal continued. 
I was asked by Mr. Weld 1 to a conversazione at the Royal 

1 This was the case ; the Rev. Mr. Jameson of Ripou being the brother 
of Vice-Chancellor Jameson of Toronto, whose wife, Anna .Jameson, was 
the authoress of "Winter Studies and Summer Kainhles in Canada" (1838). 

2 Mr. Weld, my father mentions, was half brother of Isaac Weld, who 
wrote a history of his travels iu the United States and Canada in 1 , 


Society's rooms on the 7th, and by Professor Potter to a 
similar reunion of the professors, &c., of the London Uni- 
versity for the same evening, and by Baron Parke to dine with 
him, but having declined the two first under the impression 
that I should be in Ireland, I declined the last also. The 
Baron pressed me to go the Norfolk Circuit with him. 

8th June (Saturday). I went to Dublin by Holyhead, taking 
Jonas Jones with me. We left by the N.W. Railway at 9.15. 
We stopped at Chester long enough to dine. We got to Holy- 
head a few minutes after the correct time, and at about six set 
sail in the steamer Angksea for Dublin. Boat full and weather 

We reached Kingston about eleven, and Morrison's Hotel, 
Dublin, about twelve. 

Monday r , 11 th June. Before breakfast came an invitation 
to dine to-day with the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Carlisle, at the 
Viceregal Lodge, in the Phoenix Park. 

Soon after ten, I took Jonas Jones with me and we drove 
to Kilmainham to call on Lord Seaton, who occupies the 
Commander-in-Chiefs quarters there ; found him at home and 
looking surprisingly well. 

He asked me to dine with him to-day, which I could not 
then for to-morrow, which I accepted. 

He begs me also to come and dine with him every day, but 
I have little time to be in Dublin, if I want to see anything 
out of it. He took us over the hospital where the old 
pensioners live. We went then to the Four Courts, this day 
and to-morrow being the last two days of term. 

Colonel Brown, the commissioner of the Dublin police, 
called and took me to hear the band of the 7th Dragoon 
Guards play in Merrion Square from four to six. 

... I saw there, among many to whom I was introduced, 
Sir Duncan MacGregor, the same officer who behaved so nobly 
on the occasion of the loss of the Kent East Indiaman, and 
wrote so touching an account of it. 

At dinner (at the Viceregal Lodge) we had about twenty- 
two. A French gentleman and lady of rank, the Marquis 
of Drogheda, a large staff, Dr. Todd, librarian of Trinity 


College, &c. I sat next the Lord-Lieutenant on his loft, next 
me was Mr. M'Donell, the National Education Commissioner. 
He spoke very highly of Robertson of the Normal School 
(in Toronto). The Dean of Ardagh took us in his carriage. 
Lord Carlisle was most attentive, talked to me of Peter 
Reward, whom he has a verv kind remembrance of; also of 
Mr. Todd, Samuel Jarvis, and the Bishop (Strachan). 

\%th June. Colonel Brown took me in his carriage round 
the town, and showed us the- things best worth seeing. We went 
over all the apartments in the Castle and his police establish- 
ment. We visited the Bank of Ireland, and Dr. Todd took us 
over Trinity College, the library and mii>eum. Sir Thomas 
Dean went over the new building with us, an addition to 
Trinity College which he is erecting as architect. He is the 
successful architect among more than thirty competitors for 
the new museum to be erected at Oxford. 

Dined with Lord Seatou at Kilniainhain ; Colonel and Mrs. 
Wood, his son Major Colborne and his wife, Major Hillier and 
his wife, were of the party. In the evening we all went together 
to a ball given in the Rotunda to the Lord-Lieutenant by the 
officers of cavalry and artillery. 

I was introduced by Lord Seaton to Lord Gough a fine- 
looking old soldier. Colonel Gordon Higgins, late of Quebec, 
was one of the stewards. I came home before supper about 

Next day I went, in consequence of a note from Chief- 
Justice Lefroy, 1 to see him in his house in Leeson Street at a 
quarter before eleven. He had been too ill to be in Court in 
term, but he had made a great and not prudent effort to come 
this day to town in order to join with the other Judges in 
disposing of an important case, which had been argued, and 
which it was of consequence to have determined without delay. 

I had barely time to go and see him, for we were off at 
twelve for Killarney. On his way to Court he drove me to my 
hotel, and I went at once to the railway station. 

1 Chief-Justice of the Queen's Bench in Ireland, 1HW to 1866, and a 
cousin of Captain (afterwards Sir Henry) Lefroy. He died in 1869 in his 
94th year. 



The Chief-Justice has a very kind manner, and a bright 
clear eye. It would have given me pleasure to have seen much 
more of him. 

At eight we reached Killarney and put up at an excellent 
hotel, erected by the railway company, and kept by a German, 
Mr. Schell one-and-a-half miles from the Lake. We walked 
to it while they were getting us supper. 

14^ June. We got three horses, and with an excellent 
guide riding one of them, went about sixteen miles to the 
head of the Lake, met there a boat which two men had 
brought up for us (twelve miles) from Killarney, and then 
sent back our horses, and made the usual tour of the Lake. 
We took luncheon with us. 

There are many scenes of great beauty in and around the 
Lake, high mountains, rapid clear streams, romantic little 
islands, and beautiful growth of wood. Innisfallen Island, 
about eighteen acres, with the ruins of an old monastery upon 
it and adorned with noble trees, now full of blossom, was most 
lovely. The chief proprietors of this beautiful country are 
Lord Kenmare and a Mr. Herbert. 

In 1825 I dined with the then Lord Kenmare and Lady K., 
sister of Sir Wilmot Horton, at Sir Wilmot's house in Richmond 
Terrace ; the only other guest was Mr. Huskisson. Now that 
Lord Kenmare is dead, his widow is so inconsolable that 
she has never since come to this enchanting spot, which she 
had done more than any other person to adorn, but lives at 
Brussels. The present Lord Kenmare is brother to her husband, 
and was so much attached to him that he has never returned 
to live at Killarney. Poor Huskisson met a miserable end in 
the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Sir Wilmot Horton 
is dead, after years of suffering, and half his family and more 
have died. 

~\.5th June. Rose about five and drove in a car to Muckross 
Abbey, a beautiful ruin, and having seen that and a waterfall 
returned, and at nine left for Cork by railway. We spent 
three hours looking at the old city, and at three embarked on 
the steamer Shamrock, which took us to Bristol (276 miles). 


Here we arrived on Saturday evening, Kith June, at half- 
past seven. The cove of Cork and the banks of the Lea 
between it and the sea are very beautiful full of fine 
and richly wooded. 

My Irish excursion was in every respect a pleasant one, 
and much attention was proffered to us if we could have 

On his return to London from Bristol on 17th 
June he went with my mother and my two sisters 
(Mrs. Lefroy and Mary) to Oxford, where he was to 
receive the honorary degree of D.C.L., and where 
Walter Merry 1 had taken rooms for them at the 
King's Arms, Oxford (near the Hadcliffe Library). 

Journal continued. 

I 2()th June. Breakfasted with Dr. Jeune, Master of Pem- 
broke College. 

Sir William Heathcote and Mr. Gladstone, the two members 
for the University, were there ; also Sir \V. Gore C) mint 

Montalembert, the Bishop of Lincoln and his wife, Mr. Monck- 
ton Milnes, and some five or six others. 

We breakfasted at nine, and at a quarter-past ten I went 
to my inn to get my doctor's hat and gown, and go to the 
Vice-Chancellor's (Dr. Cotton, Master of Worcester College), 
where we, i.e. those who were to take honorary degrees, were 
all to assemble at half-past ten, and go from thence in proces- 
sion to the theatre, nearly half a mile. 

Sir John Burgoyne 2 was staving at our inn, and we went 
together. The Warden of New College had lent me a doctor's 
gown and cap, which had belonged to his brother, and we 
assembled, including Lord Derby the Chancellor, and at half- 

1 Now the Rev. Walter Merry, rector of Lincoln College and public 
orator, a grandson of William Merry, who married Kli/.abeth Walker, 
sister of my mother's father. 

2 Afterwards Field-Marshal Sir John Burgoyne, Inspector-General of 
Fortifications, and distinguished in the Peninsular and Crimean Wars. 
Constable of the Tower, 1865. 


past ten walked in red gowns and caps, the latter like old 
Spanish hats. 

There were seventeen to be doctors, and we were arranged 
as follows : 

The Honourable James Buchanan, American Minister. 

Le Comte de Montalembert. 

Sir John Beverley Robinson. 

Lieut.-General Sir John Fox Burgoyne. 

Lieut.-General Sir de Lacy Evans. 

Sir William Gore Ouseley. 

Sir Charles Lyell Knight, F.R.S. 

Richard Monckton Milnes, Esq., M.P. 

Colonel Sabine, F.R.S. 

Thomas Graham, Esq., F.R.S. 

The Rev. Humphrey Lloyd, D.D. 

Philip Bury Duncan, Esq., M.A. 

The Rev. Frederick William Hope, F.R.S. 

Alfred Tennyson, Esq., Poet Laureate. 

George Gabriel Stokes, M.A., F.R.S. 

John Couch Adams, M.A., F.R.S. 

John Muir, Esq. 

We walked, two and two, General Burgoyne and I together. 
We were called, and the degrees conferred in the order in 
which I have given the names. 

Buchanan is a tall, singular-looking man. Count de Monta- 
lembert a jolly, good-tempered-looking person. Burgoyne and 
Evans well decked with medals, the former a weather-beaten 
old soldier ; Evans taller, but seeming to be much shaken. 

When all was ended we went and took luncheon with tl 
Vice-Chancellor at Worcester College ; Lord Derby was then 
Then we went in procession to see the corner-stone of the nei 
museum laid at three P.M. Lord Derby laid it, and made 
good speech. Prayers were read by the Vice-Chancellor, and a 
hymn and " God save the Queen " was sung by the thousands 

At five, Emma, I, and Mary and all our party dined, as 
guests of the Warden of New College, in the college hall. 
Many ladies. 

xiv OXFORD MADE D.C.L. 389 

June. We returned to town, beit: 
to dinner, or we should have probably stayed over that day 
and seen more of the colleges, &c. 

l liul June. Dined at Baron Parke's, ,5(j Park Street; a 
large party. Lord Campbell, C.J., and his wife Lady Strath- 
eden, Sir Roderick 1 and Lady Mmvhi.son, Willcs,- the barrister, 
a sharp-witted agreeable man, Pemberton Leigh, 3 Sir Henrv 
and Lady Holland. I took in Lady Murdiison. Hi-r husband 
seems a frank, agreeable man. I had a good deal of talk with him. 

When lYmluTton Leigh was introduced to me he said, 
"I know Chief-Justice Robinson well, and he is well known in 
England by some admirable judgments which I have had the 
pleasure of reading, and which have been before the Privy 
Council very admirable judgments," r. I suppose I should 
have said something in return, but I said nothing. 

Hoth Lord Campbell and Parke spoke decidedly in favour 
of hearing the evidence of parties in a suit. They said it made 
the trials much longer, but that that evil was lessened by the 
parties being treated more like other witnesses, and not suffered 
to go upon all occasions into a tedious rigmarole about them- 
selves and their affairs, unconnected with the cau-e. It also, 
they said, undoubtedly gave rise to much perjury; but on the 
other hand, the ends of justice were better attained in general, 
and the jury could dispose more satisfactorily of the case after 
iring what each party had to say on his own side. . . . 

Baron Parke has the true spirit of a valuable public- servant 
in him. He fairly admits that late changes (and they are just 
now talking of adding another circuit) have added immensely 
to the labours of the Judges, requiring usually three or four 
hours' 1 dailv attendance at chambers; but in the same breath 
he said, "There is no doubt it's better; these things can be 
best done in chambers. 11 

1 Sir Roderick Murchison, geologist, knighted 1846, created baronet 

Probably the future Sir Janie- Slum Willos. who became a Judge in 
the Court of Common Pleas shortly after this (3rd July 18oo), and died 
in 1871'. 

3 Afterwards Lord Kingsdown. Raised to the Peerage 1858. See 
page 326. 


Baron Parke told me one day that Willes was the best 
lawyer he had known practising at the Bar, and, he said, " I 
can speak for fifty years." 

Here the journal ends; but shortly after this, 
during the month of July, my father went to the 
Isle of Wight, and thence, with Walter Merry, to 

Here he spent a few days only, but was much 
interested in what he saw of the island, where many 
relations and connections of his old chief, in the war 
of 1812-15, Sir Isaac Brock, lived. While there he 
dined with the then Bailiff of Guernsey, Sir Peter 
Stafford Carey, and with Mr. Henry Tupper of Les 
C6tils, and met many people whom he was glad to 

In August 1855 he returned to Canada, and Sir 
Francis Head writes to him on 3rd August : 

I cannot allow you and Lady R. and dear little Mary to 
leave good old England without writing one line. I shall often 
think of the few hours you spent here. I think we conversed 
together for one whole day, without much more intermission 
than the engine on the L. and N.-W. Railway wants to take in 
coke and water. 

Apparently my father and Sir Francis met (for 
the last time) at one of the stations on the London 
and North- Western Railway on the former's way to 
Liverpool, for the latter writes from Oxenden, October 
26, 1855 :- 

Lady Head and I were glad to learn, from the kind note 
written by you as soon as you reached the new side of the 
Atlantic, that you had safely crossed that pool which has so 
often been no respecter of persons. 


We often talk of our farewell in the great hall of the 
London and North- Western station, and feel gratified at the 
feelings which brought you all thi-iv. 

I have a very lively recollection of your house at Toronto, 
and as my thoughts often hover over it, I think it not im- 
possible that you and Lady Robinson, if you will but listen 
attentively enough, may occasionally hear my k> spirit " nipping 1 
on the shingles that cover your roof. 

They kept up their correspondence until my 
father's death, and in the last of Sir Francis's letters, 
September 17, ltf(i*J, he mentions the serious illness 
of Lord Scaton, who died not very long after, in 
April 1863. 

1 At this time "spirit-rapping" was attracting some attention, especi- 
ally in the Wi'<tini world. 



1856 to 1863 

Visit of the Prince of Wales (now Kin Edward VII.) to Canada- 
Deputed by the Survivors of the War of 1812-15 to present him with 
Address Partial failure of health ; applies for relief from duties of 
Chief -Justice Letter from Sir E. Head Retires from Court of 
Queen's Bench and becomes President Court of Error and Appeal 
Address by members of the Bar Farewell Banquet The Globe as to 
him Reply to Address of Law Society Last illness : death and 
funeral Personal characteristics, &c. 

To the occurrences of the years 1856-59 I need make 
no special allusion. 

In 1860 the Prince of Wales, now King Edward 
VII., visited Canada, and my father was deputed by 
the survivors of the war of 1812-15 to draft, and 
present him with, an address. 

Thus it became one of his last acts, while Chief- 
Justice, to welcome to the Upper Province, on behalf 
of his old comrades in its defence in 1812-15, the 
heir to the throne, and after doing so he added 

. . . We rejoice in the thought that what your Royal 
Highness has seen, and will see, of this prosperous and happy 
province will enable you to judge how valuable a possession 
was saved to the British Crown by the successful resistance 
made in the trying contest in which it was our fortune to bear 
a part ; and your Royal Highness will then be also able to 
judge how large a debt the Empire owes to the lamented hero 
Brock, whose gallant and generous heart shrank not in the 
darkest hour of the conflict from the most discouraging odds, 
and whose example inspired the few with the ability and spirit 
to do the work of many. 



We pray that God may bless your Royal Highness with 
many years of health and happiness, and may lead von. bv His 
providence, to walk in the paths of our revered and beloved 
Queen, to whom the world looks up as an illustrious example 
of all the virtues that can dignify the highe*t rank, support 
worthily the responsibilities of the most anxious station, and 
promote the peace, security, and happiness of private life. 

By this time he had become a rather serious 
sufferer from attacks of gout, partly hereditary, his 
father having died from it when under forty years of 
age. but aggravated by low ness of system, brought 
on probably in great measure from too sedentary a 
life, and unremitting work at his dr-k. 

The nature of his duties, and bis anxiety to keep 
the business of the Court from falling into arrear, 
confined him too constantly to his library, and for 
some time past he had been unable to take the exer- 
cise which the medical men had repeatedly urged 
upon him as necessary to his health. 

Feeling that he was becoming no longer equal to 
the severe strain of his work as Chief-Justice, he 
wrote, on the 16th March 1861, to Sir Edmund Head, 
rovernor-General of Canada, hoping that after thirty - 
ro years upon the Bench it would not be thought 
unreasonable that he " should desire some relief from 
the incessant labour by which the business of the Court 
had been kept from falling into arrear," and trusting 
that, by an arrangement then in contemplation, his 
duties might be confined to the Court of Appeal. 

In reply Sir Edmund wrote to him privately on 
the same day : 

I have conferred with the Attorney-General for Upper 
Canada, and what he says has strengthened my own opinion 


that your resignation as Chief-Justice at this moment would be 
embarrassing and inexpedient. 

I am convinced that there would be great difficulties in 
filling your place . . . 

May I venture to return your official letter ? I do so with 
the sincere hope that you will consent to forego what I know 
you much desire, and thus make a sacrifice which, after so many 
years devoted to the public service, I have scarcely a right to 
ask at your hands. 

In consequence of this his retirement from the 
Bench was for a time postponed ; in May he had a 
serious attack of illness, and my mother referring to 
this writes to Colonel Lefroy in England : 

May 16, 1861. 

For the last fortnight he has neither taken book nor pen 
in his hand. His sudden attack was a violent one, but, thank 
God, he is rallying from it. 

He had been holding the assizes in Toronto for four weeks, 
steadily on the Bench from half-past nine A.M. to seven as the 
common hour, but varying, according to the business of the 
Court, to 9, 10, 11, and 1. 

You know it is not his habit to complain of work that has 
to be done, and we noticed only an unusual and constant 
pallor. Our spring has been exceedingly cold, and owing to 
some unlucky hindrance (smoke it was said) no fire could be 
made either in the Court House or the Judge's room. Of this 
discomfort he constantly spoke, and seemed often chilled 
through. The last evening of the assizes a shivering fit came 
on, with violent pain in the limbs like cramp. He was brought 
home in a carriage, and from that time, for seven days, thei 
was an entire prostration of body and thought scarcely 
power of utterance it appeared, or too great a disinclination 
attempt it. His system had evidently received a severe shock. 

Shortly afterwards, on 1st June 1861, an Ac1 
having been in the meantime passed authorising the 
appointment of any retired Judge of the Superic 


Courts of Upper Canada to be Presiding .In dire of 
the Court of Error and Appeal, he renewed his appli- 
cation to resign the Chief-Justiceship, writing officially 
to the late Sir John A. Macclonald, then Atton 
(General of Upper Canada : 

An illness which I have hud lately mak<-> UK- feel more 
strongly the necessity of retiring from my judicial labours, 
either altogether or to such an extent as will enable me in 
future to have that occasional relaxation which I much need. 

er this conviction, I beg you will make known to his 
Excellency the Governor-General my wish to retire from the 
office of Chief-Justice either now or at anv time before the next 
circuit, which will begin about the end of September next. 

I desire, however, to take no step in this matter which 
does not meet with the entire concurrence of his Excellency. 

It was not though until the 15th of March 1862 
that his retirement was finally carried out, and he 
was appointed President of the Court of Error and 

Upon the close of his connection with the Court of 
Queen's Bench, addresses, expressive of their regret, 
were presented to him by the members of the Bar 
and the members and students of the Law Society, 
and he was invited by the Bar to a farewell banquet 
in Toronto. From the address which its members 
presented to him I quote the following extract : 

We use no language and offer no words of idle HatUry. 
but with candour and pure sincerity, we hesitate not to say 
that by your zeal, indefatigable talents of the rarest and 
highest order, power of perception unequalled, patience, affa- 
bility of manner, and a constant desire and anxiety to ad- 
minister justice in its purity, you have never tailed to inspire 
confidence, alike in the profession and the suitor, which will 


ever be held dear in their memories, and have justly earned you 
an everlasting reputation as a jurist. 

At this farewell banquet Mr. Henry Eccles, Q.C., 
treasurer of the Law Society, presided. It was held 
in June 1862 in the library of Osgoode Hall, and 
there were some 200 present, including many guests 
of the clergy and military. 

In referring to it the Globe newspaper of Toronto, 
though it represented the political party to which my 
father had been opposed during his parliamentary life, 
made this generous allusion to him : 

We are not of the school of politics to which Sir John 
Robinson belonged, and were he in public life now, it is certain 
that we should differ widely from his views. 

But that ought not, and shall not, prevent us paying a 
tribute of praise to a well-spent and honoured life. . . . 
Doubtless he was often in the wrong. Who has not been 
proved by time to be in the wrong ? But no one will deny to 
him the credit of being perfectly sincere and honest in his 
convictions, and having laboured for them with conscientious 
zeal and assiduity. 

In reference to one part of his public career no limit need 
be placed on our praises. He was a strong friend of British 
connection, and defended this outpost of England with a 
courage which knew no difficulty. 

As the acknowledged head of society in this province, Sir 
John Robinson has exercised as great an influence as in his 
political sphere, and has used it in an eminently beneficial 

In his own personal habits temperate, frugal, chaste, and 
dignified, liberal in his hospitality, a friend of morality, and 
an enemy of excess, there can be no question that his example 
has had a powerful influence on social habits, not only in this 
city, but throughout the whole province. 

As subject, parent, and member of society, he stands before 
his countrymen " sans peur et sans reproche," worthy of the 


honours bestowed upon him by his Sovereign, and of the 
esteem and respect of his fellow-citi/ens. 

The following formed the concluding paragraph 
of my father's reply to the address of the members of 
the Law Society : 

Leaving a Court in which the whole of the active part of 
my life has been passed could not fail to be attended with a 
painful feeling of regret, for I may say that, out of my family 
circle, it has constituted mv home. The duties which it will 
give me pleasure to continue to discharge in the Court of Krror 
anil Appeal will associate me as in time past with my brothers 
of the Bench and of the Bar, so long as I may be blessed with 
health sufficient for their performance. And may God grant 
that we all may bear in mind the account which we must one 
day render of the time and talents committed to our charge. 

Although the serious words which conclude this 
reply might have been spoken by my father solely 
under the influence of that feeling which all thought- 
ful men must experience when they lay down their 
more active work, after attaining the 1'salmist's limit 
of man's years, still it is probable that, when he uttered 
them, he was conscious, from a sense of failing 
strength, that his own days would not be long prolonged. 

He had never been forgetful of the end of life ; 
and the following lines, preserved by my mother, 
and understood to be his own, may be taken to 
express the feelings of his heart : 

For me, I have no mortal fear 

No tremblings as I hurry down ; 
The way is clear, the end is near, 

The goal, the glory, and the crown. 
Then shed no bitter tears for me 

As ye consign me to the dust ; 
Rather rejoice that I shall be 

With God, my strength and trust. 


In the early autumn of 1862 he had a severe 
attack of gout, which would not yield to treatment, 
and which he never entirely shook off; and though 
he continued to do his work, it became difficult for 
him to move about. 

On 10th October, the sister of Sir Allan MacNab 
writes to him :- 

Hearing from my brother John, who returned from Toronto 
this morning, that you were suffering from an attack of gout, 
reminded me of a wish expressed to me long ago by my dear 
brother Sir Allan, that, should you survive him, I would send 
you his crutches. 1 In complying with his request, I regret 
extremely that you should be suffering so much as to necessi- 
tate the use of them. 

And my father, in thanking her for her letter, 
says : 

I am undergoing a tedious, but not very painful attack of 
gout, and at the end of ten weeks cannot make any use of my 
right foot, but there are some signs of amendment, though the 
only favourable symptom is increased pain. 

At intervals there was some slight improvement, 
and early in January 1863 he was able though the 
effort he made to do it was imprudent to preside 
in the Court of Appeal. 

On the 14th, after working for many hours upon 
his Judgments in some special cases, he was seized 
with an attack of severe pain, accompanied by great 
debility, and never, I think, subsequently left his 

By the 28th there was so marked a failure of vital 
power that the medical men attending him 2 had 

1 These he afterwards constantly used. 

2 Drs. Hodder, Bovell, and Small. 


little hope that his constitution would enable him 
to rally. 

That afternoon Bishop Strachan and Dr. Cir,-i 
Rector of St. James' Church, administered the sacra- 
ment to him, when he was able to join with them 
in the service. Upon his deathbed he repeated at 
intervals many passages from Pope's " LTnivcrsal 
Prayer," which had always been a favourite of his, 
and on the 31st January, at a little before nine in 
the morning, he passed painlessly and peacefully to 
rest, relief from all suffering having been mercifully 
granted to him shortly before the close. 

His was a bright morning, and, after the inevitable storms 
and troubles of the day, a serene and unclouded evening 
harbinger, let us believe, of the peace which in the kingdom of 
glory shall be perpetual and unbroken. 1 

All the members of his family were with him 
during his last illness. My sister Mary was at the 
time engaged to Donald Maclnnes, of Dundurn, 
Hamilton, Canada, and their marriage took place 
quietly a few weeks later (April 30, 18 

I may add that my mother's health began to 
give way soon afterwards. She died on 27th May 
1865, and was laid to rest beside him. My father's 
sisters also Mrs. Heward and Mrs. Boulton both 
followed him to the grave in the year of his own 
death (1863). 

Resolutions expressive of regret at my father's 
loss, and sympathy and condolence with his family. 
were passed by the members of the Bar, the members 
and students of the Law Society, the Corporation 

1 Address of Bishop Bethune to the students of Trinity College, allud- 
ing to my father. 


of Trinity College, the Mayor and Corporation of 
Toronto, the Canadian Institute, the Church Society, 
and other public bodies. 

At the request of the Law Society, and of many 
of the citizens of Toronto, the funeral was made a 
public one, and took place on Wednesday afternoon 
the 4th February 1863, amid every expression of 
general sorrow. 

He was buried in St. James' Cemetery, near the 
beautifully wooded deep ravine beyond which, in 
1794, "Castle Frank" stood. 

The family vault in which my father lies was a 
gift from Bishop Strachan, who in a note to him 
of 23rd July 1848, says : 

I have caused a tomb, containing two vaults, to be erected 
in the ground I purchased in the cemetery. ... As there is, 
in fact, no choice between the two, I have assigned the west to 
you, and the east to myself. 

And he hopes that he will feel no reluctance to accept 
this gift. 

When Bishop Strachan died in 1867, it was most 
properly decided that he should be interred under 
the chancel of that cathedral with which he had been 
so closely associated, but I give the above note, as 
there is something touching in it. It shows his 
attachment to my father, and that the thought was 
at one time in his mind that after this life they 
should rest near each other. 

At the installation of the Hon. John Hillyard 
Cameron to succeed my father as chancellor of Trinity 
College, the Rev. Provost Whitaker said : 

Our College and University has lost in Sir John Robinson 
one of its wisest counsellors, one of its steadiest friends ; a man 


who never swerved for a moment from the course which he felt to 
be right, because that course might seem to involve unpopularity, 
or a sacrifice of material interests ; who had embraced exalted 
principles of action, and firmly adhered to those principles. 

We have lost one who gave most patient attention to any 
subject on which his counsel was sought, bestowing on it indeed 
what others might esteem, in regard either to its absolute or 
relative importance, undue thought and labour. We have 
lost one whose equable temper, whose cheerful urbanity made 
it at all times a pleasure to hold communication with him. 

I must be permitted to add that I believe any { 
coming from the old country must have been struck by the 
faithfulness with which he presented amongst us the type of 
an English gentleman, not only in respect of the more im- 
portant points of moral principle and feeling, but also in 
respect of the minor gracr> of demeanour, those small details 
of conduct which scarcely admit of being particularised, but 
which collectively impart an inexpressible beauty to the life, 
and do assuredly indicate that a man has k-anieil, by a delicate 
spiritual perception, to recognise what is due, before God, to 
his neighbour and to himself. 

And Mr. Cameron, referring to what had been 
said above, added : 

You have well depicted the character of the late chancellor. 

In every relation of life he stood pre-eminent, and to those 
who like myself, for upwards of twenty years, have enjoyed 
the privilege of close communion with him as their chief, 
there is no power in language to portray their high estimate 
of his ability. 

His sweetness of temper, his gentleness of manner, hib 
courtesy, were proverbial, and in the long roll on which this 
University shall write the names of her future chancellors, no 
name will ever be found of brighter lustre than the first. 

I have inserted in the Appendix, more for family 
than general information, an account of my father s 



funeral, and some obituary notices which appeared 
in the press ; 1 also the inscriptions on tablets which, 
together with a memorial window to him, have been 
placed to his memory and that of other members of 
his family in the chancel of St. James' Cathedral, 

1 Appendix B., vi. Omitting details of appointments and service, 
&c., which have been mentioned in the preceding pages, I have given full 
extracts from these notices in the press. Coming as they did from all 
parts of the country, and appearing in journals representing different 
shades of politics, they show the general estimation in which my father 
was held in Canada, and will be of interest to his descendants. 



of my father's private life, and some of his 
personal characteristics, the I MIC Journal of Upper 
Canada, of March ISC.;}, says : 

Sir John Robinson's .social life exercised a great influence 
on the His private life gained for him, if possible, 
more thoroughly the affections of the people than even his 
public services. He was emphatically a good man, and a 
God-fearing Christian. He had none of those peculiarities 
or eccentricities which frequently characterise the dispositions 
of great men. His manners and tastes were simple and un- 
affected. His conversation was varied with livelv illustrations 
of wit and humour. Generously hospitable, none enjoyed 
sociability more than Sir John. His hand was at all times 
open to relieve any urgent case of suffering or necessity. His 
genuine kind-heartedness, and his downright honesty of purpose, 
made him the idol of society, and the valued companion of all 
who were honoured by his friendship. 

He was gifted with remarkable accuracy and strength of 
memory, and from all parts of the country he was frequently 
appealed to to explain the relationship of present affairs 
with the distant past. 

And in alluding to the purity of style of some of 
his addresses upon public occasions, it instances the 
one delivered at the laying the foundation-stone of 
the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in Toronto in 184<i. 
I therefore give here a few extracts from this addros. 
which was of some length : 



Let us consider who are the insane ? Here we see one who 
for some inscrutable purpose of Providence, doubtless wise and 
just as we shall know hereafter, has in his blood or in his brain 
(for who can solve the mystery ?) the seeds of hereditary 
insanity. There another who has lost his reason by chaining 
down his mind to the abstract problems of mathematical 
science, or perplexing himself amidst the combinations of 
mechanical powers, or with the boundless infinity of astro- 
nomical calculations. 

Who can have a claim to sympathy if these have not? 
It is to such ardent minds that we owe in a great measure 
the elevation of our race. Forgetting that they had their 
" treasure in earthen vessels," l they allowed themselves to be 
nobly reckless in the pursuit of science, not heeding the great 
truth that none of nature's laws can be disregarded with 

We may be assured that if it were given to us in such cases 
to look into the mysteries of the mental structure (if I may be 
pardoned the misuse of the expression) it would often be appal- 
ling to perceive how frightfully thin is the partition which 
separates the noblest flights of genius and the grandest specula- 
tions of science from the wild dreams of the visionary or the 
ravings of the maniac. Then, again, how many of the best 
and purest minds sink under the oppression of religious 
melancholy. Grief, too, sends its victims grief for wounded 
affections or ruined fortunes generally the most overwhelming 
in the kindest natures. 

And even with regard to those whose intemperate excesses 
or perverted passions have led to the ruin of their intellect, 
how seldom can we tell that if we knew the force of their 
temptations, or could make due allowance for the pressure of 
adverse circumstances, or the absence of early discipline, we 
should not feel them to be much more deserving of compassion 
than of reproach ? 

Whatever may be the cause of their calamity, it is a delight- 
ful thought that " when nature being oppressed commands the 

1 2 Corinthians iv. 7- 


mind to suffer with the body, 11 the directors of this asylum Mill 
be enabled, by the humane care of the Government, to proclaim 
to all alike, "What comfort to this great decay may come 
shall be supplied." 

Nothing can be conceived more desolate than their condi- 
tion, with all the alleviation that man can devise for it. In 
the expressive language of Scripture, " Their sun is gone down 
while it is yet day. 11 

Two or three very good portraits of my father 
exist. One is in the library of Osgoode Hall, 
Toronto. It was taken in 1845 by Mr. Berthon 
of Toronto "by desire of the gentlemen of the 
profession of the Law." 

Another is by George Richmond, R.A., and is in 
Beverley House. It was taken in London in 1855, 
and was in the Royal Academy of that year. 

Another is a full-length photograph by Palmer 
of Toronto, taken about 1860. 

I may add, from personal recollection of him, 
that in his reading he was particularly fond of 
history, biography, and travel. Some books of 
fiction interested him, but not many. Pope, Gold- 
smith, Campbell, and Scott were favourites. Shake- 
speare he read frequently, and upon his circuits he 
generally took with him either Virgil or Horace. 

He read very fast, but yet had a retentive memory 
of all he read. This natural gift, and the exceptional 
power he possessed of concentrating his mind upon 
whatever subject engaged it, and yet at will dismiss- 
ing this from it, were a great advantage to him. They 
have often astonished me. Having sat deeply ab- 
sorbed at his desk upon legal work from nine o'clock 
in the morning until six in the evening, with but a 


short interval, he would at dinner converse as freely 
and brightly upon general subjects, and with a mind 
apparently as divested of grave thoughts, as if they 
had never recently occupied it. The presence and 
conversation of others in the room with him, unless 
he were himself addressed, never disturbed him. 

He very rarely alluded to local politics, though 
he followed them with interest. The reason no 
doubt was, that, having taken so prominent a part 
in them for many years, he was sensible that it was 
more becoming, in his position upon the Bench, not 
to discuss them. 

He was punctual to a degree, not an exceptionally 
early riser, but never late for anything, and was 
naturally active in his habits. Though very tem- 
perate in his mode of life, he was not ascetic or 
extreme in anything. 

As a young man he was fond of riding and 
horses. Up to the time (1838) when he had his first 
serious illness, he rode as frequently as he could in 
the evening, and often with his wife and children. 

In 1828 he writes : "I intend riding to New- 
market in a few days. 1 Emma rides almost every 
evening, and Lukin." And he did not entirely give 
this up until about 1853, though latterly he could 
rarely find time for it. 

It has been said with some truth by Mr. Fennings 
Taylor 2 that "he had the inclinations of a sports- 
man and the tastes of a naturalist, though he had 
not the time to gratify the one or cultivate the other." 
In everything connected with country life he was 
interested, and nothing gave him greater pleasure 

1 Newmarket is over thirty miles to the north of Toronto. 

2 "Portraits of British Americans." 


than a visit to one of his farms, such as that at 
Bond's Lake, which he owned for some time. He 
would walk for hours over ground which he remem- 
bered as a boy, and took a keen delight in observing 
the changes which had taken place in the course of 
years. His memory for localities was unusually good ; 
and in driving up Yonge Street from Toronto to 
Holland Landing, some forty miles, he could name 
almost all, if not all, the owners of farms upon each 
side of the road, and the different hands through 
which the land had passed from its first settlement. 

He was devoted to young people and children. 

Of his attachment to the Church of England I 
have said quite enough, and will only add that, 
though he spoke little of his religious feelings, these 
were very deep and consistent. 

The Bible he studied constantly ; Paley's works 
and Blair's, and other practical sermons, frequently. 

Perhaps I may best convey the careful manner in 
which he examined the New Testament by saying 
that among his papers is a long memorandum, cover- 
ing twenty-three pages of foolscap, in which all texts 
from Matthew to Ephesians inclusive 1 bearing upon 
the question of our justification by " faith " or by 
"works'' are set down, contrasted, and commented on. 

Though there is no summing up to show the 
conclusions of his mind, it is to be inferred from his 
comments that he believed that a true faith will 
always be followed by works. 

His mind was so constituted that his thoughts 
upon religious subjects and their bearing upon life 
only added brightness and happiness to it, and never 

1 The intention apparently was to continue it through the whole of 
the New Testament. 


brought gloom or depression. He writes to his 
sister, Mrs. Boulton, in 1839 : " I never could under- 
stand why religion should make any one gloomy, 
and I think that we ought to suspect that we have 
a mistaken view of it if it has that tendency with 

This is perhaps well shown also in his choice of the 
text given below, when he was twenty-five years of age. 

At this time, a year before his marriage, he was a 
great deal with Mr. Merry's family in London, and 
it was suggested by some of the latter that each one 
of the party should write a sermon in turn, and read 
it on Sunday evening. 

The text my father chose for his was the 6th 
chapter of Micah, 6th, 7th, and 8th verses, explaining 
that the reason he selected it was that of the many 
summaries of our duty contained in the Scriptures, 
with the exception of that memorable one given by 
our Saviour in his Sermon upon the Mount, there 
was none to his mind so concise and yet so compre- 
hensive, so sublime and yet so comforting and simple, 
and with the concluding lines in such striking contrast 
to the appeal which led to it, as this : 

MICAH vi. 6, 7, 8. 

Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord and bow myself 
before the High God ? Shall I come before Him with burnt 
offerings, with calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased 
with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? 
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression the fruit of 
my body for the sin of my soul ? 

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and love mercy, and 
to walk humbly with thy God ? 


EXTRACT from Act passed by the Legislature of the Upper 
Province of Canada on the 14th March 1815 : 

"Whereas the glorious and honourable defence of this 
Province in the war with the United States of America hath 
necessarily called from their usual occupations and professions 
most of the Inhabitants of the Province, and amount them verv 
many Barristers, Students at Law, Attorneys, and Articled Clerks 
of Attorneys whereby the regular meetings of the Benchers of 
the Law Society of the said Province have been, for many terms 
past, interrupted several young gentlemen have been pie- 
vented from making due application for admission on the 
Books of the said Society as Students at Law ; and several 
Students at Law have in like manner been prevented being 
called to the Bar to their manifest and great injury. . . . 

"And whereas to obviate this evil, as far as they then 
could, at a meeting of the said Law Society, held as of Hilary 
Term in the iifty-fifth year of his present Majesty's reign, the 
Benchers of the said Law Society did enter upon their books 
the names of several persons who have been prevented in 
manner aforesaid from obtaining their due admission as Stu- 
dents and Barristers. 

"Therefore, to remove all doubts as to the legality of such 
entry, it is enacted that all names now entered on the K 
of the Law Society as Students at Law, and Barri dl be 

deemed and held to be legally and regularly entered on the 
said books, and are hereby declared to be Students at Law and 



Barristers within the Province, and of such standing as to time 
as is now allowed to each respectively upon the books of the 


DESIGN of 61 Gold and 548 Silver Medals struck (but never 
issued) for the Loyal and Patriotic Society of York, 
Upper Canada, to reward merit and commemorate glorious 
exploits and extraordinary instances of courage and fidelity 
in the War of 181 2-15. 

" In a circle formed by a wreath of laurel, the words ' For 
Merit ' Legend, ' Presented by a grateful country.' 

" On the reverse A streight l between two lakes. On the 
north side a Beaver (emblem of peaceful industry), the ancient 
armorial bearing of Canada. In the background an English 
Lion slumbering. 

" On the south side of the streight, the American Eagle 
planeing the air, as if checked from seizing the Beaver by the 
presence of the Lion Legend, ' Upper Canada preserved.' " 

The medal was 2J inches in diameter. 

After lying for some years in the Bank of Upper Canada, 
these medals were, in the year 1840, sold to Messrs. Charles 
Sewell and William Stennett, watchmakers in Toronto, for 
<>393, 12s. Id. currency. 

I know of only two which have been preserved one gold 
and one silver. They were in possession of the late Hon. G. 
W. Allan, of Moss Park, Toronto. 

Thus speltj meaning " strait." 





I To Celebrate the Capture of Xiu^nni In/ xtnrm mi the 

December 181:1 


Thomas Scott . . 5 

Mr. Dumr. Powell . . ,'j 

Wm. Campbell . . 3 

John Strachan . . 2 

W.Allan . 

D. Cameron ... 2 

JohnM'Gill . . . i 

S. Jarvis .... 1 

Thomas Ridout . . 1 

Wm. Jarvis ... 1 

Mr. Haldwin ... 1 

guctton St. Geor- . i> 

W. Chewett ... 2 

John Beikie 1 

Aliens Mackintosh 
Alexander Wood 
Grant Powell . 
.1. 1 It-ward 

Alexander Horn 

H. C. Hoi iu . 

Wm. M. .Jarvis 
William Lee . 
John U. Kohinson 
Mr. Boulton . 
Mr. P. Robinson 

Expense of the assembly 

Each share = X J 1, 16s. 


. 17s. 6d. 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

The bills for the assemblies at York in January 181 -I 
show that Teneriffe wine and London market Madeira formed 
a principal part of the wine consumed ; and the following 
entries as to expenses for the season 1814 occur: 




Brown for <;oinj several times round 
with subscriptions . 
Music for the season 
Charles (a black man) for waiting . 
Lackie, the baker, for cakes 
Female attendants .... 
CTKeefe, for use of room . 
M' In tosh, for wine, c. . 









i The names of some of the subscribers to this ball and to the assem- 
blies in 1814 given below, are not very legibly written in the original 
manuscript, so possibly may not be put down with perfect correctness. 


Colonel Haulers servant, and the fifer of the 
Niagara ....... 

Lemon, the violin player ..... 

For the use of a violin ..... 

Musicians of Canadian Fencibles 

For advertising in the Gazette .... 





AT YORK IN 1814 

Thomas Scott. 
W. Dummer Powell. 
William Jarvis. 
William Allan. 
Alexander Wood. 
William Smith. 
Grant Powell. 
S. Jarvis. 

John B. Robinson. 
P. Robinson. 
George Ridout. 
George Jarvis. 
John Strachan. 
H. Baldwin. 
James Hands. 
H. Lee. 
J. Quesnet. 
Quetton St. George. 
Kitson, Lt. R.E. 
W. Chewett. 
Al. Thorn. 
Capt. Lelievre. 
Sam. P. Jarvis. 
Wm. M. Jarvis. 
Tho. Taylor. 
D. Boulton, Jun. 
L. de Koven, Lt. Royal 
Newfoundland Regiment. 
Lieut. Ingonville. 



William Campbell. 

John Beikie. 

William Shanley. 

J. M'Gill. 

Geo. Cruikshank. 

Geo. Shaw, 

Richard Friend, 

Wm. Faulkner, 

J. Harford, 

H. Lott, 

W. T. Hall, 

Richard Bullock, 

Charles Lane, 

H. D. Townshend, 

Geo. Edge, 

James D. Perrin, 

Alex. Major, 

Dl. Cameron. 

Tho. Ridout. 

Angus Mackintosh. 

J. He ward. 

N. Home. 

Major Givens. 

Mr. Davenport, Royal Navy. 

Lieut. Ryerson, Incorp. Militia. 



John Douglas, 8th Regt. 


R. Stanton. 

Richard Shaw. 

Q.-Mr. Troughton, Lt. R.A. 

James Macaulay. 

William M'Aulay. 

Colonel Maule. 

Mr. Kemble. 

Mr. Miles, 89th Regiment. 

Mr. Gossett, Engineers. 

Major Walmsley, 82nd 

Ed. Davis, Lt. 82 Regi- 

Mr. Wills, Royal Marines. 

Mr. Pearson, Royal Navy. 

Captain Barclay. 

Mr. Cruikshank. 

Colonel Glen, Incorp. Militia. 

Lt. Tomkins, 11. A. 

Major Kirby. 

Mr. Archdeacon. 

Major de Haren. 

Mr! Wall, Fort Adjt. 

Mr. Jackson, Q.M.G. 

Lt. Jarvie, Incorp. Militia. 

Dr. O'LiMry. Medical Staff. 





Mr. Irwin. 

Mr. M'Dougal, Incorp. Militia. 
(Ki<;ht officers, Canadian 

cibles, for one night.) 
Lt. M'Dougall. 
Dr. Young. 
Mrs. Dercm/v. 
Mrs. Tallow. 
Mrs. .lanowav. 
Daniel Claus. 
Mrs. Geale. 
Mr. Rolph. 
Mrs. Wallin. 
Captain Walker. 
Captain Eraser. 
Captain M'Donell. 
Captain Kerr. 
Ens. Warffe. 

Evidently several of those whose names are given above 
subscribed for themselves and their families, so that a good 
number must often have been got together at these assemblies. 



The excellent services of the " Queen's Rangers " during the 
American Revolutionary War of 1775-85 deserve some special 
allusion. It was originally raised for the war in Connecticut 
and the vicinity of New York by Colonel Rogers. 

Its ranks were filled eventually with loyalists, both colonists 


and old country men ; and, when disbanded, a number of its 
officers were men who had left their estates and settlements in 
Virginia to join it. 

Lieut.-Colonel Simcoe, then a captain in the 40th Regi- 
ment, with provincial rank of major, obtained the command of 
the corps in October 1777, after it had already been frequently 
engaged and had suffered heavily at the battle of Brandy wine 
(llth September 1777), a British victory, after which Phila- 
delphia was occupied, and in which Colonel Simcoe had been 
also severely wounded while leading his company of the 40th. 

No one can read the history of the operations of this corps 
published by Colonel Simcoe in 1787 giving an account of 
the manner in which the different arms composing it were in- 
structed and handled, without seeing that Colonel Simcoe him- 
self was, as a commanding officer, very much in advance of the 
prevailing military ideas of his time. 

In 1779, as a reward for the " faithful services and spirited 
conduct " of the corps, the rank of the officers was made per- 
manent in America, and the regiment was styled and numbered 
" The 1st American Regiment," or " Queen's Rangers." 

Colonel Simcoe's ability and skill as its leader were fully 
recognised by the Government, and had he lived he would most 
probably have risen to great distinction. After he had become 
a Lieutenant-General, and had retired from the appointment 
of Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, and subsequently of 
Governor and Commander-in-Chief of St. Domingo, he was (in 
1806, when the French were threatening Portugal), sent to the 
Tagus to concert with Lord St. Vincent as to measures of 
defence, and had been appointed Commander-in-Chief in India 
when he suddenly died on his passage home from Portugal at 
the age of fifty-four. 

The corps of Queen's Rangers was composed of both cavalry 
and infantry, and frequently had light guns attached to it as 

When at its greatest strength, it consisted of two troops of 
dragoons, added on 25th August 1780 ; a body of " Huzzars " ; 
eleven companies of infantry, viz. eight ordinary companies, a 
grenadier company, a light infantry company, and a company 


of Highlanders, with a 3-pounder light gun and r\n " amu/ette v 1 
attached. Occasionally a 6-pounder gun accompanied it, but 
the guns were worked by artillerymen and did not to; 
manent part of the corps." 

The companies were very fully oilircred in proportion to 
their strength, which in Colonel Simcoe's opinion ** |> 
preservation of the corps in many trying >it nations." They 
weak in numbers, and the regiment probably m < ded 

in the actual field .">()() efficient men, but tlu-M- were con>tantlv 
employed on outpost and light infantry duties, and ho\\ 
inclement the weather, the infantry (Colonel Simcoe I 
" seldom marched less than ninety miles a wet ;. 

The corps was a light, or what was termed a "partisan " 
one, and was admirably adapted for scouting duty, then- being 
hardly a district in which it operated which was not intimately 
known to some of the officers and men in it. 

The dress was green, a green waistcoat with thin sleeves 
being worn as a fighting dress in warm weather, and an outer 
coat with sleeves provided to be put over it in winter. The 
Highland Company retained its national dre>s. and had iN |)i}>er. 

After the execution of Major Andre, and in his memory, 
black and white feathers were worn in the head-dress. 8 

The corps was repeatedly engaged with the enemy, and 
suffered in consequence a good deal of loss. On the ^!(ith June 
17S1, it lost ten killed and twenty-three wounded in an affair 
near Williamsburg, Virginia, in the neighbourhood of \Yilliam 
and Mary College. This affair took place at the forks of the 
road between Williamsburg and Jame.stown in Virginia, and 
termed the " Action at Spencer's Ordinary." 

In it all arms of the "Queen's Rai _ re engaged and 

successfully repulsed three times their numbers of the Manjuis 
de La Fayette's army. A casualty in the action caused the 

1 An ainuzette was a light brass field gun throwing a hall of about 
\ Ib. in weight, and was found of use no doubt un>: hat similar 
circumstances as the Boer " Pom-l'om- " were in the recent war in South 

2 It appears that Col. Simcoe turned some of his light infantry into 
mounted infantry on certain occasion-. 

1 A picture of Cornet afterwards Colonel Jarvis in the dress of the 
Queen's Rangers, shows these feathers, and on his cross belt are the 

letters ^ ,,, probably meaning " Pra^non-. (^i;rri:'> Il.-i; ... 


vacant commission, to which my grandfather, Christopher 
Robinson, was appointed from this date. 

After a career of many successes, it was its fate to form 
part of Lord Cornwallis's army, which was besieged in York- 
town, and, on the surrender of that place in October 1781, it 
was cantoned at Long Island. 

At the peace of 1783 it was disbanded in Nova Scotia, the 
officers being placed on half-pay, and their provincial rank made 
permanent in the British army. 

The value of its services cannot be better shown than by 
quoting the following letter from Sir Henry Clinton, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, to Lord George Germaine, Secretary of 
State : 


"Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe has been at the head of a 
battalion since October 1777, which since that time has been the 
perpetual advance of the army. 

" The history of the corps under his command is a series of 
gallant, skilful, and successful enterprises against the enemy, 
without a single reverse. The Queen's Rangers have killed or 
taken twice their own numbers. Colonel Simcoe himself has 
been thrice wounded, and I do not scruple to assert that his 
successes have been no less the fruit of the most extensive know- 
ledge of his profession, which study and the experience within 
his reach could give him, than of the most watchful attention 
and shining courage." 

And again, in recommending the claims of the Queen^s 
Rangers for British rank and establishment, Sir Henry Clinton 
says that he does so in justice to his country, "that in case of 
future war, it might not be deprived of the services of such a 
number of excellent officers." 

In consequence of these representations, the rank of the 
officers, previously only held in America, was made universal 
and permanent on 25th December 1782, and the corps, cavalry 
and infantry, enrolled in the British army. 

Among the officers from Virginia in this corps was Captain 
Saunders, under whose immediate command my grandfather 
served at one time ; and I give below the list of officers as they 
appear in the British Army List of 1783 shortly before the 
disbandment of the regiment. 




Lieutenant-Colonel Comt. John Graves Simr nental 

Rank 25th I)rcvml>. 
Army Hank li)lh Din-mb.-r T 

Captain John Saumk-rs, Regimental Rank 25th l).v 1 

David Shank, 

Thomas Ivie Cooke, 
Lieutenant Allan M'N.-ib, 

George Albies, 

John Wilson, .. ,. 

George Spencer, 

William Digby Lawler, 

Cornet Benjamin Thompson, ,, 

Thomas Merritt, 

Benjamin Murison Woolsey, 

William Jarvis, 

Samuel Clayton, 

Adjutant William Digby Lawler, 

Major Richard Armstrong, 

Captain John Mackay, .. 

Francis Stephenson, 

Robert M'Crea, 

James Murray, 

James Kerr, 

Stair Agnew, 


Samuel Smith, 

John Whitlock, ., 

.. ./Eneas Shaw, 

Hon. Ben. Wallop (in second), 

Lieutenant George )rmond, 

William Atkinson, 

Nathaniel Fitzpatrick, 

Thomas Murray, 

Alexander Matheson, 

George Pendred, .. 

Charles Dunlop, .. 

Hugh Mackay, 



Lieutenant Adam Allen, Regimental Rank 25th Dec. 1782. 

Richard Holland, 

Caleb Howe, 

Andrew M'Can, 

St. John Dunlop, 

Ensign Swift Armstrong, 

Nathaniel Munday, 

Charles Henry Miller, 

John Ross, 

Andrew Armstrong, 

Edward Murray, 

Creighton M'Crea, 

Christopher Robinson, 

Charles Matheson, 

Chaplain John Agnew, 

Adjutant George Ormond, 

Qr.-Master George Hamilton, 

Surgeon Alexander Kelloch, 

Agent, Mr. Wilkinson at General Conway's. 

The names on the first part of the above list are apparently 
those of the cavalry portion of the corps at this date (1783), 
but I think that some of the officers had served also with the 
infantry branch. The date of regimental rank, 25th December 
(Christmas Day) 1782, is the date on which that rank was 
granted in the British army. 

Some years after the disbandment of the corps, another, to 
which the same name was given, was raised in Canada. 

The colours of the corps are now in possession of Colonel 
Simcoe^s descendants at Wolford, near Honiton, Devon, where 
I saw them in 1897. 



Grounds of Objection to some of its Provisions apart from the 
main Measure of the Union. 

As to the new districts and the formation of Distric 
Councils, provided for in the above bill, my father writes thi 
in " Canada and the Canada Bill " : 


"Canada has for yean been divided into districts. In 
Upper Canada alone there are more than t wdve. each ! 
divided into counties corresponding in most respects in nature 
and design to English counties, with their bodies of Magis- 
trates, Courts, \e. 

" The twenty districts of Canada now existing co\ 
of not less than the eighty-five counties into which ( 
Britain is divided for purposes exactly similar. 

" If it be intended that the present division into districts 
shall cease when the new Act comes into effect there can be no 
(ion that as regards Upper Canada at least, the bill, in its 
present form, ought never to become a law: 1st, it mak< 
provision whatever for the administration of justice within 
Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, and Kingston; Mud, it make> no 
provision for the future discharge of duties which are now 
performed by the various civil authorities in each of the several 
districts, and which are not of a nature to l>e superintended 
by a merely legislative body like the District. Councils; 
the councils would have authority to appropriate the district 
funds raised under the present laws, and so the m 
would be left without the means of performing the duties now 
entrusted to them; 4th, which is even more material, it i- 
wholly out of the question that this range of duties, including 
the administration of justice, civil and criminal, can be dis- 
charged within such extensive circles of territory as are pro- 
posed by the Act, with a due regard to the interests and 
convenience of the inhabitants." 

As to the creation of " Elective Councils" in each district, 
he writes: "I cannot think it possible that this provision as 
to Elective Councils, though the details occupy a fourth part 
of the bill which has been introduced, will, after due con- 
sideration, be retained in any Act that shall be paed for the 
future government of Canada. . . . 

"The powers and duties of such councils could not fail to 
bring them most inconveniently into collision with the pro- 
vincial legislature and the local magistracy; and the elec 
to these councils, which would be recurring annually through- 
out the whole colony, would keep the country in a perpetual 
state of agitation and excitement. 


" It is evident also that they would subject the people to 
great expense. The fox in the fable objected to having the 
swarm of flies driven away that were filling themselves with 
his blood, because he apprehended that a new swarm would 
succeed to them, which, being active and empty, would soon 
take from him the little he had left. This bill, with less con- 
sideration for the people, would introduce a second swarm 
to prey (as the report would have us to apprehend) upon 
the life-blood of the commonwealth, without driving away 
the first." 

The restrictions under which the bill placed the councils 
would not, he argued, prove effective. 

As to the determination of the districts and electoral 
divisions by means of arbitrators (two for each province and 
an umpire), provided for in the bill, he writes : 

" This is a very important clause, for upon the operation of 
this provision it depends whether those who are favourable to 
the measure of uniting the Provinces would be likely to see 
those advantages realised which they have been led to expect 
from it. It is this clause which lays the foundation of the new 
constitution so far as this result is concerned. 

" By giving to the arbitrators the power of creating the 
electoral divisions, and assigning to them their boundaries, 
the bill leaves it to depend on their discretion how the 
Assembly shall, in the first instance at least, be composed 
except that it places restrictions upon them in the exercise 
of their discretion. 1 

" The Government knows what population Lower Canada 
contains, and they know also the population of Upper Canada ; 
the extent of the several counties in both provinces; the 
manner in which the population is distributed among them ; 
how that population is at present composed ; in what pro- 
portions the representation is distributed ; upon what prin- 
ciples and by what laws it is regulated all these circumstances 
are well known to the Government. 

1 These restrictions, as in the case of those under which the District 
Councils were placed, he viewed as insufficient for their purpose, explain- 
ing his reasons for this view. 



"Then why devolve upon arbitrators a discretionary power 
of this kind, upon the right exercise of which it is certain that 
everything must depend. 

"Besides the uncertainty of attaining a sati>factor\ 
through an arbitration, it is prudent to consider that 
method of proceeding, if it is to answer the desired object, 
will be beyond measure the most invidious course, and such 
as must be attended with much greater difficulty than the 

As to the proposed alteration in the constitution of the 
Legislative Council (Upper House), he writes : 

It certainly seems not a little singular that at the 
time when it is proposed to add greatly to the weight of the 
representative branch of the Legislature in Canada, by con- 
centrating it in one assembly more numerous than anv other 
similar body in the British Colonies, it >houlcl be thought 
prudent to diminish the weight of the other branch of the 
Legislature by destroying its claim to independence, and by 
placing its members every eight years at the pleasure of the 
Crown, or (as the bill is in effect) at the mercv of the 

That the members shall hold their office but for eight 
ears, and at the end of that time may be reappointed or not 
at the pleasure of the Government, appears to be a new inven- 
tion in government, adopted apparently from the practice in 
some joint-stock companies. It certainly would tend to sink 
as low as it could well be sunk the character of the members of 
the Legislative Council for independence of conduct ; and it is 
difficult to understand in what point of view it can have been 
thought to be an improvement upon the constitution. 

" Instead of holding their seats, as they now do, on a 
tenure that enables them fearlessly to stand between their 
fellow-subjects and any danger that may threaten tin in. either 
from an arbitrary government on the one hand, or from a rash 
and unwise popular body on the other, they would be fairly 
Warned that, during the eight years, they must so shape their 
course as to give no offence. 

"When the period should come round, if by an honest 
discharge of their duty they shall have drawn upon themselves 


the denunciations of the Assembly, a weak governor will shrink 
from reappointing them from timidity; if, by resisting some 
unwise and injurious proposition of the Government, they shall 
have incurred his displeasure, an arbitrary governor would 
abandon them from resentment.' 1 '' 

As to the proposed substitution of the term " President " 
for " Speaker," he writes : 

"The latter is the correct English designation for this 
officer in the upper branch of the legislature as well as in 
the other. It certainly cannot be an advantage to destroy 
unnecessarily any point of resemblance, even in form or name, 
between the representative constitution in the colonies and in 
the mother country."" 

As to the proposal to concede to the colonial legislature 
the power to pass laws as to prorogation and dissolution of the 
Houses of Parliament, he writes : 

" This clause may appear unimportant to some persons, but 
not to any whose judgment and experience enable them to 
estimate its possible consequences. 

"The prerogative of the Crown, as it applies to the dis- 
solution of the representative branch, is of importance : it is 
part of the law and constitution of Parliament. 

" In the Canadas this prerogative has been very sparingly 
used ; and I imagine that the framers of this bill had no other 
instance of it in their recollection than the one which occurred 
two or three years ago in Upper Canada, which was very 
remarkable, both in respect to the occasion, and the conse- 
quences of the measure. 

" In 1836, the Assembly, in order to reduce the Govern- 
ment to an implicit compliance with their will, refused to vote 
a shilling to support the ordinary charges of the civil govern- 
ment; and at the same time they passed resolutions en- 
couraging and applauding the party in Lower Canada, who 
were evidently driving the people to the most desperate courses. 
Fortunately the King had a representative in the government 
of the province, 1 who saw clearly the course which his duty to 

1 Sir Francis Bond Head, Lieut-Governor of Upper Canada, 1836-38. 


the country demanded, and who had the man 
not to shrink from it. He dissolved the Atmhl\; thousands 
of their constituents had, by public addresses, entreated him to 
do so; and a great majority of the population ivjoiced to see 
the prerogative used, which the constitution had placed in his 
hands in order to meet such exigencies. 

" It need hardly be asked, whether the Assembly which had 
been dissolved would have passed those laws which enabled the 
Government to meet the dangers of the time." 

As to the proposal to attach Gaspe and the Magdalen 
Islands to New Brunswick, he writes: 

"As it is an important change for the inhabitants of a 
country to place them under a new government and jurisdic- 
tion, it would seem proper that the motives for detaching them 
from Lower Canada which I believe to be reasonable and 
sufficient should be stated in the Act. 

" I am not aware what may be the particular reasons for 
attaching the Magdalen Islands to the province of New 
Brunswick rather than to Prince Edward Island, or to Nova 
Scotia by incorporating them with Cape Breton, either of 
which arrangement would seem to be more convenient, looking 
only to relative position." 


CHANGES in the Emoluments of the Chief-Justice of Upper 
Canada between 1817 (i.e. after the conclusion of the war 
of 1812-15) and 1841 (after the union of the Provinces). 

Between 1817 and 1840, when the Union Bill passed into 
law, the Chief-Justice as was the custom in other British 
colonies was a member of, and presided in, both the Execu- 
tive and Legislative Councils. In addition to his salary as 
Chief Justice he received as Chairman of the Executive Council 
.100 stg., and as Speaker of the Legislative Council, ^360 
stg. a year. 


The following table shows the changes which occurred 
between 1817 and 1841 : 


Population of 
Upper Canada 

Yearly Emoluments. 

Amount (stg.). 





As Chief-Justice . 
For offices in the Execu- 
tive and Legislative 
Councils . 


Salary of Chief-Justice 
raised (in Sir W. 
Campbell's time) to . 
For offices in Executive 
and Legislative Coun- 
cils .... 

Total 1 . 

Chief - Justice ceased to 
hold office in Execu- 
tive or Legislative 
Council ; therefore 
income was reduced 
to his salary as Chief- 
Justice . . Total 

s. d. 






Thus the occupant of the post of Chief-Justice received as 
annual income in 1817 more than he did in 1841, when the popu- 
lation had more than quadrupled, and the work of the Courts 
had become very much heavier ; and in 1829, 2 4t60 (or over 
500 Canadian currency) more than he afterwards did in 1841. 

It may be added that now the Chief-Justice receives (accord- 
ing to W hi taker) ^1400 a year, with a population of over two 

1 This does not include travelling allowance, which (for expenses on 
circuit, &c.) averaged at this period about 100 a year. 

2 My father became Chief-Justice in this year. 




Probably few Governors in any portion of the British 
Empire have ever been placed in a position in many re.spect-H 
more difficult, trying, and anxious than that occupied b 
Francis Head during his term of office in Upper Canada from 
1836 to 1838. 

The political circumstances of the province, the excited 
state of party feeling, and the line which he deemed it his duty 
to take, have, while they made him manv friends and admin r-, 
necessarily subjected him to much ho^tik- criticism from th<<- 
opposed to his conduct of affairs, and this has occasionally been 
of an unfounded as well as petty character. 

As one instance of this, I may give the following extract from 
an article in the Edinburgh /iVivYri 1 for April 1S47, p. 373, 
referring to the threatened attack on Toronto on the 6th 
December IS:}?. The writer says: 

'Sir F. Head now took a step which subjected him, and we 
think justly, to the loudest censure from the citizens of Toronto. 

" He sent his own familv on board a steamer in the lake. 
Now, though no one will be very hard on him for showing such 
affection for his family, it must be recollected that the other 
families in Toronto had no such means of refuge." 

Mr. John Charles Dent also, in "The Story of the Upper 
Canadian Rebellion," 1885, quotes from Mr. \V. L. Macke: 
"Flag of Truce," chap, viii., to this effect: 

" He (Sir Francis Head) had his family out in the ba\ 
they were china." 

It may interest Canadian readers to know what really did 
take place on this occasion, as related by Sir Frmci> Head 
himself in a letter to the Morning Chronicle in 184-7, referring 
to the article in the Edinburgh A copy of this letter 

was kindly shown to me by his grandson, Sir Robert Head : 

" The truth " (Sir Francis writes) " of the story is as follows. 
On leaving Government House, on the night of the Rebellion, 


to take up my position in the market-place, I conducted my 
family to the house of Her Majesty's Solicitor-General, 1 where 
they remained the whole night. 

" On the afternoon of the next day, the present Bishop of 
Toronto 2 recommended several families to go on board two 
steamers, which were not in the lake, but lying moored in the 
harbour. They did so; and Lady Head and my daughter, 
sharing equally with them the accommodation, remained on 
board one of those two crowded vessels, until the Mayor of 
Toronto, accompanied by several of the principal citizens of 
Toronto, far from entertaining the feelings described (by the 
writer of the article in the Edinburgh Review), came alongside 
to congratulate them loudly upon the defeat of the rebels.' 1 

From this it appears that it was Archdeacon Strachan, and 
not Sir Francis Head, who arranged for certain families Lady 
Head's among them to go on board the steamers, one of which 
I have always heard was the steam-packet Transit, Captain H. 
Richardson, which then plied between Toronto and Lewiston, 
touching at Niagara and Queenston, and making the passage in 
about four hours. 

It was known that some of the Government officials in 
Toronto were specially obnoxious to the rebel leaders, and it 
was understood to be part of the object of the latter to secure 
their persons ; it was also evident that it would greatly em- 
barrass the action of the Government should the families of 
these officials fall into the rebel hands. 

The motives, therefore, which influenced Archdeacon 
Strachan in arranging that these families, among others, 
should be placed in comparative safety in case the attack on 
the city succeeded, are very intelligible, and will justify his 
having acted upon them to most of those who are aware of 
the facts. 

To any one who may have derived the impression, from 
what has been written by opponents of the policy of Sir Francis 
Head, that that policy did not, taking it as a whole, commend 

1 Mr. William Henry Draper, afterwards Chief-Justice of Upper 

2 Then Archdeacon Strachan. 



itself to the mass of the people of \ *pper ( 'anada at the tii 
would point to the published addresses which, when he relin- 
quished office, were forwarded to him from both Hou>r of the 
Upper Canadian Parliament; from the Assembly 
wick; and from almost every township, and every rla of the 
inhabitants, of Upper Canada. They are couched in t 
which leave no doubt of their thorough sincerity; and express 
a most warm appreciation of his public . a great per- 

sonal respect, and much regret at his departure. 



DR. JOHN ROBINSON, brother of Christopher Robinson the first 
of the family to emigrate to Virginia, deserves rather special 
mention in this memoir, were it only on account of the leading 
part he took, as First British Plenipotentiary, at the Congress 
of Utrecht ; since the treaty which followed this Congress much 
affected British influence and interests both in the old and new 
world, and particularly in what is now the Dominion of Canada. 

Of this treaty Seeley says : l " In the history of the expan- 
sion of England one of the greatest epochs is marked by the 
Treaty of Utrecht. In our survey this date stands out almost 
as prominently as the date of the Spanish Armada. At the 
time of the Armada we saw England entering the race for the 
first time. At Utrecht England wins the race. The Treaty 
of Utrecht left England the first state in the world." 

His career was an unusually eventful and varied one, being 
more that of a diplomatist than a churchman, for he filled both 
characters, and was also constantly in the field with Charles 
XII. of Sweden during his campaigns. 

He was the last ecclesiastic to occupy a high office of 
state, and the only one since the Reformation to hold that 
of Lord Privy Seal. 

History records that his exertions and influence in Sweden in 
1700 had much to do with the policy and events which resulted 
in the obtaining for Europe the permanent concession of the 
free navigation of the North Sea ; and at the Treaty of Utrecht 
in 1713, he was largely instrumental in securing to England 
Newfoundland, Acadia (Nova Scotia), Hudson's Bay, and the 

1 Seeley's "Expansion of England" (1897). 





island of St. Christopher, while she retained her con(| 
of Gibraltar and Minorca. 

For some years before and after his death, t lit- 
he had advocated had fallen into disfavour. The Treaty of 
Utrecht, though different views him- been taken of 
was denounced in unmeasured terms by the political j 
opposed to the Tory Government which hail approved of it ; 
the Government fell and the bishop narrowly escaped impt 
inent, only doing so, as it was humorously .said, bv "the benefit 
of clergy," while Lord Stratford, who had accompanied him as 
the Second Plenipotentiary to Utrecht, was impeached. Lord 
Macaulay says of this treaty : " No parliamentary struggle from 
the time of the Exclusion Bill to the time of the Reform Rill 
has been so violent as that which took place between the 
authors of the treaty and the war party. The members of 
hostile factions would scarcely speak to each other, or bow 
to each other. The schism extended to the most remote 
unties of England/ 1 

Bishop Robinson was the son of .John Robinson of Cleashv 
and Eli/ubi'th, daughter of Christopher Potter, also of Cleasbv, 
and was born at Cleasby, a small village near the Tees in 
Yorkshire, November 7, 1650. Before this period the family 
had been settled at Crosthwaite near Romald-Kirk further 
north in the same county. 

Of his immediate relations his sisters Mary and Fra: 
usin (see page 439), and his elder brother ( 'hri>topher went out 
to Virginia. 1 A sister Clara was married to Sir Kdward Wood, 
Kt. ; his father's brothers, Thomas and Richard, were merchants 
in London, and his father's sister Kli/ahcth was married to 
Colonel (Sir) Anthony Wharton of Gillingwood, Yorkshire 
described as Lieut.-Colonel to Henry Lord Percy, Deputy 
Governor of Oxford. In the generation previous to that, 
his father's uncle William had become a merchant in London, 
where he died in 1634 and is buried in St. Helen's Church, ami 
several of the family are described as Russian, Turkey, and 

1 Frances married the Rev. J. Shepherd, minister of (hristrh 
Virginia ; -Jndly, the Rev. Samuel Gray, afterwards the vicar of 
Risliou. Norfolk, Kndand. She had left Virginia and was living in 
Knjrland in 1712. Of iMary there are no particulars, except that she 
married and left no children. 


Hamburg merchants belonging to the various London city 

Further back than this I could not trace the family from 
registers, deeds, wills, &c., with any certainty, but the tradition 
is that it came originally from still farther north than Romald- 
Kirk, i.e. from Westmoreland or Scotland. I visited Romald- 
Kirk about 1875 and obtained some information from the Rev. 
Robinson Bell, vicar of Laith Kirk, but little of a definite 
kind. Apparently between 1400 and 1500 the family were 
small owners of land in that neighbourhood. 

Bishop Robinson seems to have been the first member of 
the family to make any mark in the world, and he is described, 
in a letter to Christopher Robinson in Virginia, by an agent 
in England in 1758, as " the good bishop, the founder of your 

It is certain that his father, John Robinson of Cleasby, who 
died just before this son was born, was not in good circum- 
stances ; and an entry made on the flyleaf of the church 
register at Cleasby, about 130 years ago, and referring to the 
bishop, states that he was believed to have come " from a good 
family in the county which had decayed, his immediate parents 
being poor," and that he always "came once in the year to 
Cleasby to visit the cottage in which he was born." 

For his early education he was indebted to the Rev. Ralph 
Robinson, possibly a relation, at Coniscliffe ; and he was after- 
wards sent to Oxford 1669-1670, where he became a B.A. of 
Brasenose, October 21, 1673; M.A. of Oriel, March 5, 1683 
(probably on some visit to England from Sweden) and D.D. by 
diploma, August 7, 1710. 

In 1677, while a fellow of Oriel, he obtained leave of 
absence 1 to go to Sweden, as chaplain and tutor to the 
children of his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Wood, 2 then envoy 
at Stockholm, where he resided for some years. 

In most of the notices of the bishop some of the details as 

1 His leave was renewed from year to year till 1685, when he resigned 
his fellowship. 

2 Sir Edward Wood, who had married his sister Clara, was knighted, 
and received a pension for his services in the cause of Charles II. He 
was also Gentleman Usher to Queen Catherine. Very possibly it was to 
his influence that both the bishop and his brother Christopher in Virginia 
owed some of their success in life. 

Al'I'KNDIX i:;i 

to his early life and education an- incorrectly gi\vn ; what 
I have mentioned above rests on i> ! at the 

Herald's College, 1 his own oorretpondeoot piv>er\ed in t he- 
Record Oflice, and other authentic papers. 

Having acted in Sweden as secretary to various < 

ivoy when the others were absent upon lea\ 
, he was in 1(>SJ5 appointed to he Envoy Kxtraordinary at 
Stockholm, a post he held for twenty-live \>. In all he- 
thirty years in Sweden, during which time he wrote a 
history of that country published in London in ln'!).">. II.- 
returned to England finally in 170H, becoming on his return, 
successively Dean of Windsor, Hi>hop of Bristol, and of 

lie was twice married, first to Mary, daughter of William 
Langton of the How, County Palatine, Lane a>t> -r. She died 
27th November 171 S, and was buried in St. Helen's Church, 
liishopsgate. Second to Emma, widow of Thomas Cornwall^ 
of Abennarles, Wales, and daughter of Sir Job ( 'harlton, 1 J 
Chief-Justice of England temp. Charles II. She died 1 

Hishop Robinson died llth April 17M:>, while on a vi>it to 
Hampstead, of asthma, and both he and his second wife were 
buried in Eulham churchyard. His stepdaughter, .Mi-s Letitia 
Cornwallis, left by her will a sum of money, the interest of 
which is still expended in keeping his tomb and the railings 
enclosing it in good order. - 

He left no children by either marriage, and by his will the 
manor of Hewiek, near Kipon in Yorkshire, pas>ed to the son 
of his brother Christopher in Virginia. 

King William had a high opinion of his capacity, and he 
possessed in an exceptional degree the favour and confidence 
of Charles XII. of Sweden. 

In 1692 he secured the adherence of the latter to the Eng- 
lish alliance at a time when the French were very anxious to 
frustrate this. 

1 That of Bishop Robinson in 171:! and one of William Ilobinson, his 
great-uncle, in l<;;i:5. 

2 Ou this tomb are his arms, impaling those of Linirton ami ( harlton, 
and the motto " Propereet Provide ; hut on memorial to hin. 

and elsewhere there is an old Norse (Itiiiiir) motto, " Madr er nuddur 
auki," "Man is hut dust and ashes," which lie adopted apparently in 


In 1700 he was instrumental in obtaining the renewal of 
the Treaty of the Hague. He was constantly in personal 
communication with Sir George Rooke when the latter, as 
commander-in-chief of a combined Dutch and English fleet, 
was sent to the Sound to support Charles XII. against the 
Danes. He strongly urged the King to risk a junction of the 
Swedish fleet with the Dutch and English, a measure which, 
being fortunately effected, brought the Danes to terms. Sir 
George Rooke writes thus to the Secretary of State from 
Gothenburg, 13th June 1700 : 

" I found Dr. Robinson here, who has been extremely use- 
ful to the service in many particulars. I wish I could have 
persuaded him to proceed with us in the Fleet, but he says he 
will keep pace with us by land as we advance by sea." 

He accompanied Charles XII. in his expedition in 1700 
against the forces of Denmark, Russia, and Poland, and in his 
despatch to Lord Manchester, dated December 8th, gives an 
interesting account of what took place on the eve of the Battle 
of Narva (30th November 1700), in which Charles XII., then 
in his nineteenth year, attacked 75,000 Russians in an en- 
trenched position during a snowstorm, with about a fourth of 
their strength, and gained a complete victory. 

At this period Sweden and the Swedish army held a very 
important position in Europe. 

In 1702 and 1703 he was much with the King. In 1704 
the Duke of Marl borough wrote a very high opinion of his 
excellent influence at the Swedish Court ; and in 1707 intended 
to employ him to conduct the negotiations with Charles XII., 
which he subsequently was sent himself from England to carry 

He acted as interpreter at the celebrated private interview 
between Charles XII. and the Duke in that year, when the 
former was encamped with his army near Leipsig dictating 
terms of peace to the King of Poland. In subsequent years 
he was sent on various public missions to Warsaw, the Hague, 
Hamburg, and elsewhere, during which he kept up a close 
correspondence with the Government at home. 1 

1 Many of the facts mentioned in this account are taken from his 
correspondence and despatches preserved in the Record Office, London. 
See also ' ' Dictionary of National Biography." 


Lediard, in his "Life of Marl borough " (i 
him: "He followed the camps of Charles Xli ways 

supported the character so becoming his cloth (though he had 
for the time exchanged it for the sword), of bein^ n 
and sober. Besides being a man of solid sense, la- \\ 
vigilant and careful of the interests of his Sovereign." 

Lord Peterborough writes (July !>M. 1707): "Mr. Robin- 
son has all the good qualities a minister can have, ami 
man of great integrity." 

He had apparently an unusual aptitude for languages, 
being able, it is said, to write and speak well Latin, S\v t -di>h, 
Dutch, French, and German, and he translated the Knglish 
Liturgy into German. 

Wheatley dedicated to him his work on k * The Common 
Prayer " in a very eulogistic preface. 

In !()!)."> he declined the deanery of Lincoln, as he thought 
"others would be more useful in the government of the 
Church,'" his time having been so much spent in non-el' 
duties; and in 1702, when desired by the Secretarv of 8 
to say if he would like the bishopric of Carli>le, wrote as 
follows : 

"I am perfectly persuaded that I ought not, and there! 
cannot, accept at present. If I return home, and aft 
years spent in the service of the Church in an inferior stal 
be thought worthy of such advancement, I may then probably 
be less averse to it." 

In 1709, he similarly declined the bishopric of Chichester. 

In 1697, King William gave him a prebend's stall at 

In 1709, after returning from Sweden to live in Kngland, 
he accepted the deanery of Windsor, and was the year foli 
ing appointed Bishop of Bristol. In 1711 he was made Lord 
Priw Seal. In 1712 he was sent as First Plenipotentiary to 
the Congress of Utrecht. 

This Congress, at which the bishop took a very leading 
part, was assembled to discuss terms of peace after 
exhausting war, which England, in conjunction with her ai 
had carried on with France and other Powers on the Continent. 
Great Britain, France, the States-General, the Duke of Savoy, 
Austria, and Prussia sent plenipotentiaries. 

2 E 


The proceedings at the Congress were conducted with much 
form and state, and were protracted. 

The bishop sailed for Holland early in January 1712. At 
one time it seemed as if the various Powers could not come to 
terms, but a treaty, the conditions of which were approved by 
the Government and the Queen in England, was finally signed 
on April 11, 1713. 

The year following (1714) the bishop was made Bishop of 
London, which office he held until his death in 1723. 

As a Churchman he was a zealous supporter of orthodoxy, 
but belonged to what was then termed the Moderate party. 

It illustrates his times to mention that when in 1716 the 
Rev. Lawrence Howell, for merely writing a pamphlet of non- 
juring tendencies, called "The Schism in the Church of Eng- 
land truly stated, 11 was sentenced to three years 1 imprisonment, 
a fine of ^500, to be whipped and degraded, and stripped of 
his gown by the public executioner, Bishop Robinson stepped 
in to save him from the whipping, which, at his intercession, 
was not carried out. " Well, 11 cried the Coffee-House Whigs, 
"the fellow ought to have been hanged. 111 

He was a liberal benefactor to Oriel College, where he 
erected new buildings to the east of the garden in what is now 
the back quadrangle, and founded three scholarships; and a 
small likeness of him appears on the Oxford Almanacs, engraved 
by Vertue in 1736 and 1742, as a benefactor of Oriel and of 
Balliol, to which latter College he gave an advowson. 

He also contributed largely towards improvements to the 
deanery at Bristol, the Abbey Church of St. Albans, and the 
parish church at Cleasby, where he built and endowed a school- 
house, in addition to assisting in the restoration of the church 
and parsonage. 

He attended Queen Anne in her last moments, 2 and Noble, 
in his " Biographical History of England " (1806), says : " The 
character of Dr. Robinson stands on too firm a basis to be 
shaken by malice or envy. It is well known that the Queen 
intended him for the See of Canterbury in the event of Teni- 
son's death. 11 

1 " London and the Jacobite Times/' by Dr. Doran (1877). 

2 Mrs. Strickland's "Lives of the Queens of England." 



The Treaty of Utrecht, with which he was associated, has 
been denounced by some as not securing enough from France, 
but, on the other hand, it has met with the strong approval of 

The Duke of Manchester, in u Court ami from 

Elizabeth to Anne" (1S(J1), thus sums it up: k " I'll 
not only secured our Protestant succession, terminated the 
wars of Queen Anne, separated for ever the Crowns of Fi 
and Spain, and destroyed the fortifications of Dunkirk, but 
made especial provision for the enlargement of the British 
Colonies in America/ 1 It also retained to us Gibraltar and 
Minorca, ami gained many advantages for trade. 

Lord Straffbrd, writing to Bishop Robinson, 7th October 
713, and alluding to his own treatment in connection with the 
treaty, says : 

"The uprightness of my behaviour throughout the whole 
urse of the negotiations has been such a> I am >uiv 
uity and candour will always make you a witness for. 

"' Your Lordship's letter which I received this morning was 
kind and sincere, which is indeed the greatest comfort could be 
to me in the midst of my afflictions. What I have done to 
serve such usage from any of Her Majesty's ministers, as God 
is my witness, I know not." 

What Seeley says of this treaty we have already quoted, 
and Lord Macaulay, a strong opponent of the Government 
which approved it, yet says : M \\ e are for tin rtrecht. 

The decision was beneficial to the State" (''Critical and 
istorical Essays," by T. Babington Macaulay). 

The (n-ntlt'manx Muga:.ini' for August 1715, referring to 
the bishop's part in the treaty, says: "As he followed his 
instructions and obeyed his mistress's orders, it is >oim- 
surprise to the considering part of the world how this gentle- 
man can be called to account for the doing of that which, had 
he not done, would have more endangered his life and reputa- 
tion. It is to be hoped he will escape their fury." 

Two or three portraits of the bishop exist. Queen Anne 
had one painted for her by Dahl, and presented to him, which 
at his death was given by his widow to Oriel College; another 
is at Fulham, and another at the Charterhouse, of which he was 
a governor. There is also a small memorial window to him at 


St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, London ; and one to the 
memory of him and of his brother Christopher, has been put in 
by the latter's descendants, in the church at Cleasby, Yorkshire. 

Several of the family are buried at St. Helen's Church, 
Bishopsgate, among them John Robinson, died 1599, to whom 
there is a monument in very fair preservation, and William 
Robinson, who died in 1634, both merchants of London. The 
latter, a great-uncle of Bishop Robinson, was married to a 
grand-daughter of the former (Katherine Watkin, daughter of 
Giffard Watkin and Katherine Robinson), and there was pro- 
bably a relationship also apart from this marriage. The arms 
are identical. 

Each of these left small legacies to provide loaves of bread 
for the poor, which are still distributed every Sunday after 
morning service at that church. There used also to be a dole 
table, "the gift of William Robinson, 1633," in the church, 
but I am not sure whether, owing to recent restorations, it is 
still there, various benefaction boards, &c., having been removed 
a few years ago, and other changes made. 



AS to CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON, HEWICK, Middlesex Co., Virginia, 

and Colonel BEVERLEY ROBINSON, Beverley House, on the 
Hudson River, near New York. 

When Christopher Robinson, elder brother of John Robin- 
son, afterwards Bishop of London, emigrated from Cleasby in 
Yorkshire to Virginia about 1666, he acquired, partly by grants 
from the Crown and partly by purchase, a good deal of land in 
the counties of Middlesex and Essex, a portion of which con- 
sisted of a large plantation near Urbanna on the Rappahannock 
River in the former county, about twenty miles above the point 
where the river empties itself into Chesapeake Bay. Here he 
built the house in which he died, while Secretary of the colony, 
in 1693. 

The records of the Courthouse in Middlesex show that, 
before he became Secretary, he took an active part in public 
matters. He was Coroner of the county in 1686, Clerk of the 
Court in 1688, and subsequently a Member of the House of 
Burgesses. In militia affairs also he bore his share, and he 




was a Vestryman and Churchwarden of Christ Church near 

The following entry occurs, 12th December IfiST, in the 
Court minutes, showing that the militia were determined to 
turn out creditably : 

"That Mr. Christopher Robinson do, bv the first oppor- 
tunitie, send for Trumpetts with silver mouth pieces to be 
hanged with black and w th silke. One horse Col lours with 
Stifle two Bootes, 1 and two handsome bells and one Kfoot 
Collours for which this Courte do promise and enpi^e tin- 
Christopher Robinson shall be paid in the Count next 

The situation of his plantation must have been a 
favourable one for settlement. It was well wooded, water was 
good and plentiful; deer and other game, ov-ters, and ti>h 

A stream still called the "Robinson Civek " m\ir the 
plantation, was navigable for boats of some M/e, and bv it 
tobacco and other produce of the land could be com 
to the broad waters of the Rappahannock (lu-iv about tl 
miles wide), and thence to the >ea, and supplies brought up. 

The planters in Virginia at this date seem to have led a life 
of ease and comfort, and in spite of the indifference of the n 
at certain periods of the vear, there was a good deal of social 
gathering and festivity. 

These were the days of .slavery, and labour was obtained 
from slaves, and apprentices brought out from Kngland. One 
of the slaves at Huwick mentioned in a will hear> the name of 

An entry in the Courthouse minutes of 7th October 1689, 
says : 

"Certificate is granted to Mr. Christopher Robin>on for 
the importation of 52 persons into this county 2(> wk 
and 26 negroes." 

Grants of land were given to those who brought in many 

Most of the essentials and many of the luxuries of lift- 

1 'Hie "Boote" was probably the socket to receive tlie staff of the 


procured from the planter's own estates ; they sent their sons 
to William and Mary College at Williamsburgh, 1 and often to 
England for their education. Christopher Robinson sent his son 
John, afterwards President of the Council of Virginia, to Bishop 
Robinson in England, to be placed at school, and between 1721 
and 1737 four of his (Christopher's) grandsons 2 were sent to 
Oriel College, Oxford, where the bishop had founded scholar- 

In the will of Christopher Robinson (1693), the plantation 
at Hewick is spoken of under the name of " The Grange," but 
in that of his grandson, made in 1750, as the " tract of land 
commonly called Hewick, or the ' burnt house,' " from which it 
is to be inferred that the house on it had possibly at one time 
suffered from fire. No doubt the name Hewick was taken 
from the manor of "Hewick upon Bridge," near Ripon in 
Yorkshire, and adopted after this had come into the posses- 
sion of the family in Virginia. 

This manor, about 1000 acres in extent, was purchased by 
Bishop Robinson from Sir Giles Arthington, and left by him at 
his death without children, in 1723, to Christopher Robinson, 
the eldest son of his brother, in Virginia. 

Hewick in Yorkshire was subsequently sold the sale 
being completed March 12, 1776 to Sir Fletcher Norton, 
Speaker of the House of Commons, afterwards Lord Grantley, 
for ^16,000, a portion of the proceeds of the sale being devoted 
to the purchase of land, &c., in Virginia. 

Hewick House, in Virginia, and some of the property with 
it, after coming down through four generations of Christopher 
Robinsons, was willed by the last Christopher, who died un- 
married in 1775, to his sister Elizabeth, who married William 
Steptoe, and whose daughter, Mrs. Christian, lived at Hewick 
until it was sold to a Mr. Jones, Prosecuting Attorney for the 

1 William and Mary College, of which Christopher Robinson was one of 
the trustees under the original charter from the Crown in Feb. 1693, 
was built from plans by Sir Christopher Wren. A history of the College 
was published in Richmond, Virginia, in 1874, by Randolph and English. 

2 These were Christopher, son of John, President of the Council, 
matriculated 1721 ; B.A., 1724; died at Oxford, 1738. Also Christopher, 
matriculated 1724. Peter matriculated 1737. William matriculated 1737, 
B.A., 1740, all sons of Christopher Robinson of Hewick, elder brother of 
John Robinson, President of the Council. 


county of Middlesex, about 1S74 a family burial-ground on 
the land being re>erved. 

Not many years after this the h i 1>\ lire. 

Another portion of the property descended, tliroi 
of Elizabeth Steptoe, to a .Mr. Parkins, who \va> living upon it 
in 1875. 

There are descendants of the family still in Virginia or 
other parts of America. ( 'hristopher Robinson, who emig. 
about 1666, was, as we have said, not the only one of his family 
to go out to Virginia. His sisters Mary and : m-tainlv 

did so, and married there ; also a con.-in, a son of his uncle 
William Robinson of Clensby, but whose name is not mentioned 
p. -WJ)). 

When I was in Virginia in lS7-"> I obtained much accurate 
information, based on legal documents and olliciai 
respecting various members of the family, from the late ( \.i 
Robinson' 2 of the Vineyard, i.rar Washington. \\hose oun 
family came, I believe, from Yorkshire. 

Though we could not trace the exact link of conn 
between his branch and ours, most probably they were d 


"Beverley House" was situated nearly oppo 
Point, close to Garrison".. Landing, in the Highlands, border- 
ing the Hudson River in the State of New York. It 
built by Colonel Heverley Robinson, son of John Robi 
President of the Council of Virginia, about 17">0, before the 
separation of the American Colonies from (ireat liritain. 

A writer in Appleton* Journal, January 1N7(), thus alluiles 
to Heverley House : 

1 I visitiMl both Ht-wick in Yorkshire .1111! Hrwick in Virginia, i 
The Vork-liire property wa> still in tin- ]><,^. ion 'f Lord (inntley's 
descendants, and had gTCfttly inm-ast-d in valnr. The Hllagl 
" Brid^e-Hevvick," and " Copt-Hewick," arr only a f-w n,il^ fn.m 
Ripon. "Hewir.k" in Virrinia wa- a Mil.vtantialfy built ml-brirk 
Storied house, witli an ol<l-tavhioncd Dutch nmf. It wa> uutonaiitnl at 
the time of my \ isit. 

a A leading member of the Bar in Virginia, author of some well- 
kuown le^al and historical works, and at one time chairman of the 
Executive Committee of the Historical Society of Virginia. 


" It was fashioned after the prevailing style of the country 
seats in England at that period. The gardens, lawns, fruit- 
orchards, fields, and deer-park were fit surroundings for the 
military scholar and English gentleman. . . . 

" ' Beverley ' has been the scene of a score of interesting 
events. No other house in the country was so frequently the 
resort of Washington, during the eight years which tried men's 
souls, as Beverley. Under no roof were so many foreigners of 
distinction sheltered. And all the illustrious generals of the 
army, as well as the great majority of the statesmen who were 
tinkering at the foundation of the new Republic, broke bread 
in its long-to-be-remembered dining-room." 

Immediately after Colonel Beverley Robinson joined the 
army under Sir Henry Clinton, his wife and family were forced 
to leave their home, and the furniture and contents of the 
house were seized by the revolutionary authorities. 

The situation of Beverley House led to its being often the 
headquarters of the revolutionary generals during the war. 
It is interesting also to mention that in the old colonial days, 
some years previous to the war, when Washington was serving 
under the Crown, there was a friendship between him, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Roger Morris, 35th Regiment, and the families 
of Colonel Beverley Robinson and Philipse. 

Washington and Lieutenant-Colonel Morris served to- 
gether on the staff of General Braddock at the disastrous battle 
on the Monongahela river, where Braddock was killed and 
Morris severely wounded, and, according to tradition, Wash- 
ington was deeply attached to Mary Philipse, a sister of Mrs. 
Beverley Robinson, before her marriage with Colonel Morris. 

It was John Robinson, a brother of Colonel Beverley, and 
then Speaker of the House of Burgesses in Virginia, who, on 
Washington's taking his seat in the House, 1 expressed to him 
the thanks of the Colony for his services against the French 
and Indians " with great dignity, but with such warmth of 
colouring and strength of expression as entirely to confound 

On September 25, 1780, Colonel Beverley Robinson, in 

1 See Wirt's "Life of Patrick Henry" (1850). 


writing to Washington to desire tli Andre, ju>t 

tured, might be set at liberty, concludes with, " I ;un. sir, not 
forgetting our former acquaintance, Your very humble ser- 
vant," &c. 

Probably all these mentioned above had met together more 
than once in Beverley House. 

Sir Frederick Robinson, a son of Colonel Beverley Robin- 
son, thus alludes to his father and his life at this house in his 
Journal : 

"Certainly since the time of the golden age there never 
was more perfect domestic happiness and rural life than that 
which he- and his family enjoyed. My father uns adored bv his 
tenantry, almost all of whom followed his fortunes in the revolu- 
tionary war, and sacrificed their interest to their attachment." 

In 1815 Sir Frederick revisited his old home, after an 
absence of thirty-two years, and writes thus in one of his 
letters : 

"After breakfast I walked about a mile to we mv old nurse 
and foster-father. The latter had completed his ninety-second 
year and was perfectly childish. ' Mammy' was about eighty, 
but still hearty. I found all so little altered, that it brought 
tears to my eyes, and many a heavy sigh to my heart."" 

Beverley House passed into the possession of Richard 
Arden, Esq., in whose family it remained for sc\eral years. 

It was purchased, about 1S72, by the Hon. Hamilton Fish, 
a well-known American statesman, and was burnt down in 

The following allusion to its destruction by fire is taken 
from an American paper of March 1892: 

"A FAMOUS Horsr. IN A 

"The Beverley Robinson Mansion, at Garrison in the 
Highlands, was totally destroyed by fire this morning. All 
the antique furniture was burned, including a lot of silver ware. 
The fire originated in the main chimney. It was in this h- 

1 1 saw Beverley House on the Hudson in 1K"5. It was a long two- 
storied house, built of wood, with comfortable though low-rooted rooms, 
and was then in very fair preservation. The li I found, sp 

of locally as the "Robinson House," rather than Beverley House, and the 
landing-place near it as the " Robinson Dock." 


that Benedict Arnold concocted his treasonable plans during 
the Revolution, by which West Point and the control of the 
colony north of it were to be handed over to the British in 1780." 

From the time that Christopher Robinson went to Virginia 
(about 1666) the name of " Beverley " occurs frequently among 
his descendants. 

Both he and Robert Beverley emigrated about the same 
period from Yorkshire, and during the first three generations 
in Virginia there were several marriages between the two 
families. In those days the planters frequently married at a 
very early age. 

Christopher Robinson married (second wife) in 1687 
Katherine (nee Hone), the widow of Robert Beverley. 1 His 
son John Robinson (by his first wife, Agatha Bertram), President 
of the Council of Virginia, married in 1 702 Katherine, daughter 
of Robert Beverley (by his first wife, Mary Keeble). Another 
of his sons, Christopher, "Naval Officer for Rappahannock 
River," a post connected with the Customs, married in 1703 the 
widow of William Beverley (son of the above Robert Beverley), 
and a grandson, William Robinson, married in 1737 Agatha, 
daughter of Harry Beverley, another son of this Robert Beverley. 

It is owing to this connection and (among the descendants 
of those who adhered to the Crown in the Revolution) out of 
regard to the memory of Colonel Beverley Robinson, that the 
name became so general in the family. 



Sir Frederick Robinson, born 1777, entered the army very 
young, about fourteen years of age, and after seventy-five years 
in the service died "the oldest soldier in the army" 2 at 
Brighton, January 1, 1852. During his career he saw a great 
deal of active service; first in the King's Loyal American 
Regiment (commanded by his father) and afterwards in the 

1 This Robert Beverley was father of Robert Beverley, the historian 
of Virginia. 

2 This is stated on his tombstone in Hove Churchyard, near Brighton, 
and in published obituaries of him. 



17th Regiment, during the American Revolutionary War. 1 1. 
was at the battle of Horseneck and at Stony Point, uh< 
was made prisoner. 

Then at the capture of Martinique, St. Lucia, and 
Guadaloupe in the West Indies (17!)}-). 

Next in the Peninsula, where he commanded a bri^ 
the action of Osma, the Battle of Yittoria, the stormii; 
St. Sebastian, the Passages of tin- Bidassoa and x 1 the 

actions around Bayonne, where he the 

peace to the command of the 5th Division. 

Finally in Canada during the campaign of LSI 4. uherc he 
commanded a brigade at the attack on Plattshurg, hut 
having forced the paage of the Saranac, \\as ordcn-d to retire. 

He was Commaiuier-in-Chief and Provincial G 
Upper Canada for a time in l.Sl."> -10', and was >uhscqiicntlv 
Governor of Tobago. 

lit- served in several regiments, including the SNth, (JOth, 
and JJHth, and was Colonel-in-('hief of the .">!)th and a! 
of the J39th Regiment and a G.C.B. when he died. He recciu-d 
the gold meilal for Vittoria with t^ Sebastian 

and the Nive, and the silver war medal and clasps for 

. given for the Peninsular AYar in IS 1-7, and was several 
times mentioned in despatches. 

For a time he was Inspector of Recruits in a part of 
England, and he took an active interest in the or 
and raising volunteers in London during the threatened in- 
vasion by Napoleon, for which service> he received a piece of 
plate from the governor and company of the Bank of Kngland. 
e also wrote several pamphlets urging the establishment and 
advantages of rifle corps. 

These pamphlets show that he was, at all events in some 
respects, rather in advance of the general military ideas of 
day, and no doubt his experience of campaigning in A in- 
had shown him the value of trained riflemen and ihaipahool 
He was twice married and left descendants. 


Sir William Robinson entered the commissariat departm. 
when very young, saw much service in Holland a :iere, 

and was in the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition in 1809. 


He then embarked for Nova Scotia, and in the war of 
1812-15 was in charge of the commissariat department in 

His services were warmly acknowledged by the Government, 
and he was made a Knight of Hanover. 

He died in England in 1836, and there is a tablet to his 
memory in the church at Thornbury, in Gloucestershire. 

He married Katherine, daughter of Cortlandt Skinner, 
Attorney-General of New Jersey, who died at Wisthorp 
House, Mario w, Bucks, in 1843, and left descendants. 

I give below letters 1 from Sir Frederick Robinson to his 
sisters, describing the Battle of Vittoria, and storming of St. 
Sebastian, which are interesting, and show the heavy losses 
which occurred at the taking of the latter place. 


"ALBEMIR, one league in front of SALVATIERBA, 
24th June, 1313. 

"Mr DEAR SUE, I have just time to tell you I am safe 
and well after the glorious Battle of Vittoria. It was fought 
on the 21st, and the result is the total rout and separation of 
the French army, with the loss of all their artillery, amounting 
now to one hundred and fifty pieces, also two thousand baggage 
carts and cars, an incredible amount of mules, together with 
King Joseph's private baggage and three millions of dollars in 
the military chest. 

" Never was there so well-planned an action, nor could it 
have been better executed, although I fear our loss has been 
dreadfully severe. 

" You will be all delighted to hear that it fell to my lot 
to perform a very arduous and principal part in this bloody 

" I was ordered to attack a village in front with my whole 
brigade, in which the French had posted five times our numbers, 
with the hedges in every part lined with sharpshooters. 

" Well knowing that our great chief likes prompt measures, 
I ordered the brigade to charge at once, and in a quarter of an 

1 In the possession of the descendants of Colonel W. H. Robinson, 
Frenchay, near Bristol. 


hour we drove them over a bridge on the opposite side with 
dreadful havoc, the bridge being so choked with dead that the 
living had no way of escaping hut by leaping over 
into the water, where numbers were drowned. 

"They made three attempts to retake the village but 
failed, and our first brigade coming to our support, secured 
the conquest, although the enemy hail a column of 15,000 
men with artillery on the opposite bank, and within a quarter 
of a mile of us. 

We took one gun which had done terrible mischief 
advanced down a narrow lane, but their loss was horrible to 
look at. Ours, I lament to say, was very heavy too. 

"Two of my colonels were desperately wounded, and one, 
I fear, must die. 

tk William de Lancy was upon the hill, and I under 
exclaimed that it was the most gallant attack he ever saw, 
and that he would not sleep till he had made a proper report 
to Lord Wellington. 1 

"I have just received the thanks of Sir Thomas Graham 
and the congratulations of every one. I had some very narrow 
escapes. One ball through my hat, another through my clothes 
and grazing my ribs on my right side, and my horse shot in two 

" I have lost some officers of great value, but they died in the 
execution of their duty, and I hope will be rewarded el>ewhere. 

" I rode through Vittoria the next morning, and certainly no 
words can describe the scene on every side of the town for a 
mile or two. English carriages without number, thousands of 
animals, and the ground covered with fragment > of various 
kinds, as well as carcases of men and hor>c>. \\ >\v in 

close pursuit and expect to invest Pampeluna the day after 

"Give my love to mother- and Anne. Ever affect io: 
yours, I'- I''"'- H. 

" P.S. I received a letter from you yesterday dated in Ma\ ." 

1 The services rendered by Sir Frederick and his brigade, both at 
Vittoria and the storming of "st. Sebastian, were duly acknowledged by 
Lord Wellington in bis despatches. 

- Mrs. Beverley Robinson, then aged about eighty-six, and living at 


To Ms sister JOANNA (wife of the Rev. Richard Blade, 
Rector of Thonibury). 

ST. SEBASTIAN, 2nd September, 1813. 

" MY DEAR ANNE, I hope I shall be first to inform you of 
the glorious exploit of the 31st August, in the storming and 
carrying the strong works of this place, which is with great 
truth called the little Gibraltar. But how will you and mother 
and Sue be delighted to hear that the attack was entrusted to 
my brigade. 

" At ten o'clock in the morning I had a thousand men in the 
trenches ready to rush towards the breach the moment I should 
give the signal. They were to gain the top and maintain 
themselves there until supported by the rest of the division, 
and a reinforcement which had arrived the evening before from 
the other division in front. 

" We were all aware of the strength of the place, although 
according to the technical term there was a breach, but that 
breach was as high and as steep as your house, and the descent 
on the other side was thirty feet perpendicular, and at a little 
distance enclosed with high walls, behind which were stationed 
sharpshooters, and bombs were placed before them to be 
thrown down upon my people as soon as they should 

" Never did hearts beat so high in dreadful expectation as 
those of the lookers-on, at the head of whom were Sir Thomas 
Graham, Sir James Leith, General Oswald, and Hay. 

" We had to pass from the mouth of the trenches over the 
seashore for about a hundred yards, which was covered with 
large slippery stones, or deep mud. 

"Our first brigade had failed in this attempt with cruel 
slaughter about a month before, and the natural emulation of 
soldiers made my gallant fellows the more determined to con- 
quer or die. 

" At eleven o'clock I gave the word to advance, which was 
instantly obeyed with a shout that gave promise of success. 
The fire of grape and musketry against us cannot be described. 
The strand and the bottom of the breach were in five minutes 
covered with dead and wounded, notwithstanding which they 


gained the top, ;iml maintained it for three hours, when, b\ tin- 
explosion of one of the enemy's mini-*, a pa-^age was opened 
into the town. 

"In an instant the whole division, as well as the other troops 
charged into it, and the French ran in crowds to the Castle. 
In two hours more the town was completely our*. The . 
being immediately above it made it a warm berth for a short 
time, but nothing could have prevented our keeping posseion 
until the engineers could make it secure. 

"The melancholy part of my story is yet to come. Out of 
the thousand brave fellows who accomplished this extraordinary 
feat with the addition of two hundred more that came up 
some time after seven hundred and forty, together with fifty 
officers, were killed and wounded on the breach, ami in ad- 
vancing to it. 

"Among the rest my Excellency was laid sprawling in the 
mud by a ball through my beautiful face, which occa-ions mv 
sitting as unnaturally upright as anv boarding-school miss. 
Fortunately my teeth and jaw-bone . but I >hall ha\- a 

nice little scar to remind me of St. Sebastian for the remainder 
of my life. 

k 'Sir .fames Leith is badlv wounded. General Oswald re- 
ceived three contusions, which, though troublesome at pn 
will soon be of no consequence. 

)" My people are the constant theme of admiration, not only 
four own army, but of the French prisoners, three hundred of 
whom are now under my window contined in a garden, and 
whenever I happen to stand at the window they pay i 
compliment in their power. 

"I have no doubt our great Chief will think we have done 
our duty, but at what a fearful price have we gained applause. 
I have but h've hundred men left in three regiment-. All my 
best officers are gone; no less than seventy-five of them ! 
been killed and wounded at Vittoria and this pi,* 

"The town unfortunately took fire and is now almost in 
ruins. The inhabitants fled as soon as they could, and left 
everything to the soldiers. You, and all the who hear it, 
will scarcely credit me when I say that, although our people 
were destroyed by the enemy in such numbers before they 
entered the town, yet, when once in, all the Frenchmen they 
overtook were made prisoners, hardly a man being killed. 


"What other troops in the whole world can act thus? 
They seek glory and will always find it. To be a soldier 
of the 2nd Brigade will ever be considered an honour ; every 
one admires them. 

" All the generals and others of the most experienced 
officers say it was the most gallant and desperate service ever 

" The French general believed it to be impracticable, and 
told the inhabitants so, and I am told cried with anguish and 
despair when he found we had got in. 

" Give my love to my mother and Sue. Ask the former 
whether she means to give her Frippy any new socks, since he 
has been a good boy. 

" Remember me most kindly to your Sposa ; I should like 
amazingly to have done with stopping musket balls with my 
head and to be once more traversing the fields with him. 
Farewell, my dear Anne. Write to the Hincks for me, and to 
such other friends as you know are interested in my welfare. 
I cannot write another letter till I am a little more supple in 
the neck. Yours affectionately, F. PHIL. R." 

Addressed Mrs. SLADE, Thornbury, Bristol. 



Peter (the eldest), born in New Brunswick 1785. He repre- 
sented the county of York for several years in the House of 
Assembly, Upper Canada, was a member both of the Executive 
and Legislative Council, and Commissioner of Crown Lands. 

He took a great interest in emigration and in the settle- 
ment of Peterboro 1 , which is called after him. 

In the war of 1812 he commanded a volunteer rifle 
company which accompanied General Brock in the expedition 
to Detroit, and he performed good service at the post of 
Michilimakinac in 1813. Died unmarried in 1838. 

Mary, born 1787. Married, November 26, 1806, Stephen 
Heward, formerly of Cumberland, England, and for many 


years Clerk of the Peace for the home district. Died in 
at Toronto, leaving several children. 

Sarah, born at L' Assumption in Lov. 
Married, January 13, 1808, G. IVArcv Boulton, bftlrisl 
G. D'Arcy Boulton, then Solicitor-General for I 
and subsequently Judge of the Court of (Queen's Bench. 
1863 at Toronto, leaving several children. 

John Beverley, born at Berthier in Lower Canada, July ,(J. 
1791 (the subject of this memoir). 

William Benjamin, born at Kingston in Upper Canada 
December 22, 1797. He represented the c-ountv of - 
in the House of Assembly for twenty-live \c. In- 

spector-General for Canada, with a seat in the K\ecuti\<- 
Council. Held the office of Chief Commissioner for Public 
Works, lS-H)-47. Was selected as Commissioner hv the 
Government in 1850 to make a treaty with the Indians on the 
north shores of Lakes Huron and Superior. One of the 
Coininis>ioners of the Canada Company. lie married 1 
Anne, daughter of Colonel W. Jarvis (formerly an ollia-r of 
the Queen's Rangers, and Secretary of the Upper Province of 
Canada). Died in 1873 at Toronto, leaving no child: 

Mother died young and unmarried, in 1811. 



James Lukin, eldest son, born .7th March 181S, barri>ier- 
at-law. Middle Temple, London, and of Upper Canada. & 
in the Militia in the rebellion of 1837, at Navy Island. Married, 
15th May 1845, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Arnold, 
KM)., of Toronto, and formerly of Halstead, near Srvcnoaks, 
Kent. She died 1896. Succeeded his father as second baronet 
1863, and died 21st August 1894-, leaving children, of whom 
the eldest (Sir Frederick Arnold Robinson) succeeded as third 
baronet (died 1901). 

John Beverley, born 20th February 1820, barrister-at-law, 
Upper Canada. Several times M.P. for Toronto. Served in 
the rebellion of 1837 as A.D.C. to Sir Francis Head, Lieutenant- 
Go vernor of Upper Canada. President of the Executive Coun- 

J r 


cil, 1862. Represented Algoma and afterwards West Toronto 
in the Dominion Parliament, and was Lieutenant-Governor of 
Ontario 1880-87. Married, 30th June 1847, Mary Jane (who 
died 1892), daughter of Christopher Hagerman, Esq., Puisne 
Judge, Court of Queen's Bench, Upper Canada. Died 19th 
June 1895, leaving children, of whom the eldest, Sir John 
Beverley Robinson, is now fourth baronet. Wounded at 
Limeridge 1866, when serving as a volunteer during the 
Fenian invasion of the Niagara frontier. 

Emily Merry, born 14th July 1821. Married, 16th April 
1846, Captain (afterwards General Sir John Henry) Lefroy, R.A., 
subsequently Governor of Bermuda, and afterwards of Tasmania, 
who died 1890. She died 25th January 1859, leaving children. 
Sir Henry Lefroy married (secondly) Charlotte Anna, daughter 
of Colonel T. Dundas, of Fingask, and widow of Colonel Armine 
Mountain, C.B. No children. 

Augusta Anne, born 3rd September 1823. Married, 31st 
October 1844, James M'Gill Strachan (died 1870), formerly 
captain 68th Light Infantry, and son of the Right Rev. Dr. 
John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto. She died 12th November 
1900, leaving no children. 

Louisa Matilda, boni 9th October 1825. Married, 16th 
April 1846, the Hon. G. W. Allan, of Moss Park, Toronto, 
who died 1902. She died at Rome 13th May 1852 ; no children. 
Mr. Allan married (secondly) Adelaide, daughter of the Rev. 
Thomas Schreiber, leaving children. 

Christopher, born 21st January 1828, barrister-at-law, 
Upper Canada, and K.C. Counsel for the Crown in the Queen 
v. Kiel, after the Riel Rebellion, 1885. Counsel for the 
Dominion of Canada at the Behring Sea Arbitration in Paris, 
1893 (offered knighthood); also before the Alaska Boundary 
Tribunal in London (1903). Mariied, 1879, Elizabeth Street, 
daughter of the Hon. J. B. Plumb, and has children. 

Mary Amelia, born 3rd March 1831. Married the Hon. 
Donald M'Innes, of Hamilton, Ontario, Member of the 
Dominion Senate, who died 1st December 1900. She died 16th 
March 1879, leaving children. 

Charles Walker, born 3rd April 1836. Entered the Rifle 
Brigade 1857; served in the Indian Mutiny, the Ashanti 
Campaign 1873-74, and Zulu War 1879. Assistant Military 


Secretary to the Commander-in-( hi* f 1890-2. Conimai. 

the troops at Mauritii: : nant-Govi-rnor, K 

Hospital, Chelsea, Retire 

Married, 16th October Issi. Margaret 

General Sir Archibald Alison, Hart., (,.(!>.. and has c 


From " Toronto Daily Lender" Febnuiry 5, 1808. 



The remains of Sir John Beverlev Robinson, lately Chief- 
Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench t'i 

: tl;tv consigned to their la>t resting-place amid the pro- 
found grief, as manifested in e -ible and proj>er form, 
of an entire community, among whom he had passed the best 
of an honourable and prolonged life. There was no 
gorgeous pageant to mark the progress to the tomb, no vain 
display to mock the sorrows of the bereaved ; but if the 
glittering and externally imposing parade were wanting that 
sometimes pretentiously attends the obsequies of men 
less eminent than the late Chief-Justice, there was not lac 
a more impressive, because more sincere, demonstration the 
demonstration that thousands in Toronto yesterday mournfully 
made from respect for one whose death all regarded truly with 
emotions of sorrow. From twelve o'clock till four, vhr:. 
last sad rites were over, busine^ ; -ended in the city, and 
nearly all the stores were closed, in order that those engaged in 
them might participate in the solemn ceremonies. Evidence of 
the general feeling of re-pect for the memory of Sir John 
Robinson wa vhere apparent, and, witnessed 1 
stranger, could not fail to impress him with an exalted idea 

1 From these notices many details as to my father's services, Ac., 
already Driven in previous pa#'- Ml omitted ; and as I have often 

quoted from the obituary notice of him which appeared in the Law Journal 
</ r/./*T ( 'ana'ia, March" 1863, I do not add more from this source here. 


of the virtues of one whose burial was attended by such uni- 
versal signs of melancholy. 

The day was decidedly the coldest of the season. The air 
was keen and piercing and the frost most intense. Notwith- 
standing this drawback a very large number of persons was 
assembled at one o'clock at Osgoode Hall, in the main hall of 
which building the body, enclosed in a coffin covered with black 
cloth, lay preparatory to removal to St. James 1 Cemetery. 
Osgoode Hall, the scene of the last labours of the departed 
judge, was regarded as the most fitting place for the funeral 
procession to form, and the body had accordingly been con- 
veyed thither from the late residence of the deceased about 
an hour previously. The lid had been finally closed and the 
features were not exposed to view. A plate on the coffin bore 
the following inscription: "Sir John Beverley Robinson, 
Baronet. Born, 26th July, 1791. Died, 31st January, 1863. 
Aged 71 years 6 months and 5 days." 

About half-past one o'clock the funeral cortege was formed 
at the head of York Street. First, there were the officiating 
clergymen, Rev. H. J. Grassett and Rev. E. Baldwin ; then the 
volunteers, comprising the various companies of the 2nd Bat- 
talion, and one company of the 10th Battalion, without arms ; 
then Major-General Napier and staff, with the officers of the 
garrison, in uniform ; the medical profession, of which there 
was a goodly representation ; the clergy, embracing many of 
different denominations ; the members of the County Council ; 
the Mayor and members of the City Council ; the Senate, pro- 
fessors, and undergraduates of the University of Toronto ; the 
professors and undergraduates of Trinity College; the pall- 
bearers in carriages the Hon. Chief-Justice M'Lean, Q.B., 
Hon. Chief-Justice Draper, C.P., Chancellor Vankoughnet, Hon. 
Justice Hagarty, Hon. Justice Richards, Hon. Justice Morri- 
son, Hon. Vice-Chancellor Spragge, and Hon. H. J. Boulton ; 
then the hearse containing the body, followed by the mourners, 
members of the family of the deceased, in carriages ; by the 
Treasurer and members of the Law Society of Upper Canada 
in their robes ; and by the officers of the Courts, the whole 
winding up with a number of citizens on foot and in carriages. 
The order of the procession, it will thus be seen, was the same 
as arranged by the Law Society, of which notice had previously 


been given through the press. The whole cortege all the 
persons composing which were on foot, except \\\ arers 

and mourners, with those who brought up the rear 
lengthy; and the number would undoubtedly h;i\ nuch 

increased had the weather been less severe. 

The route of the procession lav along York and 
Streets to St. James" Cathedral. Th . as we have 

remarked, were all closed. Tl, . notwithstanding tin- 

severity of the weather, were crowded with spectators, 
procession moved slowly along and halted at the Cathedral, 
the galleries of which were already filled with ladies, the 1. 
part of the sacred edifice being re-er\fd for those who took 
part in the procession. On the hearse reaching the main 
entrance the coffin was taken out, placed upon a bier, carried 
into the church, and deposited in the centre aUle in front of 
the pulpit. At the door the body was met bv the oflici 
clergymen, who preceded it to the reading-desk, the choir 
singing the introductory sentences of the burial >ervice of 
the Church of England, commencing M I am the resurn 
and the life," 1 " to music composed by t dr. .John 

Carter. During the singing of this piece the bodv of tin- 
church rapidly filled up, and soon almost every available spot 
was occupied. Probablv there were altogether three 01 
thousand people assembled. The veix-rable Hi>hop Strachan 
occupied his desk on the east -ide of the chancel, an 
much affected by the last rites that were being paid to his 
former pupil and late friend. On the conclusion of ti- 
t-haunt, the :39th and 90th l'salm> 1 by the K v 
Baldwin, after which the anthem, " Hlcs>cd are th 
Spohr's"Last Judgment," was sung by the choir. The K.-\. 
Mr. Grassett then read the lesson from the .5th chapter. l>t 
Corinthians, and the service here ended by II Dead 
March in "Saul," played on the organ by Mr. Carter. 

The body was then carried out, replaced in the 1 
the procession being again formed, marched slowly along K 
and Parliament Streets to St. Janu -rth- 

eastern part of which is situated the family vault of the de- 
ceased baronet. The body was carefully lowered into it> 
abode, and the remainder of the burial service performed by the 
Rev. Mr. Grassett, when the sad assemblage silently dispersed. 
















The Procession will move from Osgoode Hall at 1 P.M. on 
Wednesday the 4th instant. Then proceed down York Street 
along King Street to the Cathedral Church of St. James, where 
the funeral service will be performed. Thence along King 
Street to Parliament Street, and along Parliament Street to St. 
James' Cemetery. J. HILLYARD CAMERON, Treasurer. 

2nd Feb. 1863. 

Extract from " The Dally Leader" Toronto, 
%nd February 1863. 


We share the profound sorrow which will be felt throughout 
the province, and especially throughout Upper Canada, on 
hearing of the death of Sir John Robinson. 

A man who, occupying for more than half a century a most 


prominent position among us, admired for consummate ahi' 
reverenced for deep judicial knowledge and unsullied : 
loved by all those who approached him intimately, and, \\v may 
almost say, adored by those allied to him bv -I doarer 

ties, whose conduct, talent, and position combined to give him a 
verv powerful influence over the community of which h 
a part, cannot be taken awav from our midst without 
removal creating a shock which must vibrate through I 
heart. But a few months since we chronicled his resignation 
of the office of Chief-Justice of Upper Canada, expressing our 
hope that the country might still for many years enjoy the 
benefit of his matured judgment and deep learning as 1' 
of the Court of Appeal, the duties of which office- he undertook 
on retiring from the more exhausting labours of Im- 
position. Though of ripe age, exceeding th 
years and ten," he was one whose powers, physical or mental, 
no other excess had exhau- an untiring energy in the 

discharge of onerous duties, public and private, social 
domestic; and we had deemed that Divine no- might 
have allotted to him a more prolonged e\ ruing of life, ra: 
and beneficial to the last moment ere the shadows of night 
closed his career. 

It has been ordered otherwise, and in little more tin 
months from the time of the expres>ion of that hope we are 
called upon to announce that he is no more. He die 
Saturday morning last at half-past eight o'clock, at \\\> 
dence, Richmond Street West. Up to within a very short 
of his death, he showed but little symptoms of his approaching 
end; but the fell Reaper did his work speedily. Troubled. 
more or less, for many years with gout, it final! 
him with a degree of virulence which it was beyond the power 
of medical skill to avert. 

The statutes passed while Sir J. H. Robinson was a i 
of the Legislature, some of the most important of which 
framed by himself, afford a ready test of his clear perception of 
an existing defect or evil, and of the remedy most tit ted to 
remove it, and at the same time most suitable to the 
of a young and rising community. But in his desire t> 
the interests of the province, he never lost sight of i 
to the Empire; and his resolute uncompromising opposit 


everything which to him savoured of an anti-British tendency, 
or which tended to diminish that influence or control which in 
his judgment the Crown ought to possess in Colonial affairs, 
caused much of that political hostility which met him during 
one period of his career, but which has, long long since, sub- 
sided into a full conviction of his honesty of purpose, if not of 
the soundness of all his views in regard to Colonial administra- 
tion. But distinguished as his reputation was before he rose to 
the Bench, it was there that he displayed the highest perfection 
of his character. 

If in some few and now almost forgotten instances political 
animosity followed him even there, assuredly he carried with 
him no remembrance of its existence, and exhibited an entire 
freedom from its influence, and the people of Upper Canada by 
common consent recognised in him those qualities which alike 
elevated the character of our Courts and established unbounded 
confidence in the purity of the administration of justice. To 
quick appreciation of facts to a power of most exact discrimi- 
nation, and a marvellous faculty of lucid arrangement and 
statement, he added untiring patience, unwearied industry 
always increasing his own large store of legal knowledge and 
always applying his qualities, natural and acquired, in the 
interests of truth and justice. No research was spared, no 
consideration was overlooked, which could aid in coming to a 
right conclusion, and even the unsuccessful suitor could not fail 
to recognise the earnest effort as well as the ability and integrity 
that had been employed in disposing of his case. Equally good 
reasons had the Bar to appreciate and admire him. To the 
lofty dignity combined with the unassuming courtesy of his 
conduct to them is owing much of the right-minded and agree- 
able tone in which the business of our Courts has been usually 
conducted. Prompt to repress the slightest indecorum look- 
ing to the leaders of the Bar for a fitting example to their 
juniors he was kind and affable to all, and uniting firmness to 
the finished manner of a high-bred gentleman, he sustained the 
dignity of the Court in the highest degree, and inspired self- 
respect, and the observance of fitting decorum, as becoming the 
character of a learned and honourable profession. In his hands 
the power of the Court was only a terror to the evil-doer, while 
he sought to employ it as a bulwark for the protection of the 
innocent, the weak, or the oppressed. 


He was a sincere and earnest Christian, n ,,t merely in the 
sense of a devout worshipper, but as OIK- who frit it 
exert his best faculties for the suppor; 
" pure and reformed faith " of the Church to which he 
He took an active part in the establishment of tb 
Society for the diocese of Toronto. 

Such was the man whom rpjxT Canada has lo>t. Such is 
the bright example which lie has left behind him. Thu- 
closed the career of one of the noblol example* of an uj.i 
judge and Christian gentleman which this land of o 
hope to lee, Whether viewed in his public or private n-lat: 
he has lived equally pure, upright, unselfish, and amiable 

"Through all this track of years 
Wearing the white flower of a blameless life." 

K.rtractfnm M The Dtul/j dhbc" Tnmnto, "ml Fct.ruuri, \ 

We are called upon to record the death of another 
ment of the Bench and honoured i-iti/cn. OnSat.: :iing, 

a few minutes before nine o'clock. Sir John |: 
Bart., President of the Court of Appeals, and late Chi 
of the Queen's Bench, died at the ripe age of seventy-two years. 
He had been afflicted by an attack of gout for two months, but 
no apprehensions of a fatal result were entertained until within 
the last three or four weeks. Contrarv to the wi>he* of his 
friends, he presided at a meeting of the Court of Appeals a 
month ago, and, returning home, persisted in preparing his 
judgments upon the cases he had heard. He laboured from an 
early hour in the morning until late in the evening, for while 
there was anything left undone he could not feel at re 
sense of unfinished work weighed as a burden upon his mind, 
provocative in him of uneasiness and disquiet. But the exertion 
he made was too great for him. Last Wednesday \\eek he was 
compelled to take to his bed, from which he never ro>e. H<- 
died surrounded by his family and friends, his latest hours 1. 
soothed by all that affection and deep respect could dictate. 
Gently and peacefully he yielded up his spirit to hi 
There is no man whose departure could cause a greater void in 


our society, or tend more completely to separate the past from 
the present, than his. 

The great experience gained by Sir John B. Robinson 
during his long career as a lawyer, as leading officer of the 
Crown, and as Chief-Justice, caused his decisions to be received 
with the greatest confidence. His possession for twenty years 
of a seat in Parliament, during which time he had much to do 
with the framing of our Canadian laws, and with the adapta- 
tion of the laws of the mother country to the wants of this 
province, gave him a great and decided advantage. His 
numerous judgments, spread through many .volumes of our law 
reports, are clear and well argued. Though not an eloquent 
speaker, he was possessed of a great flow of language, and the 
power of placing his arguments in the plainest and most 
forcible light. He is remembered by those who had to contend 
with him as a formidable antagonist, though his kindliness and 
dignity very seldom allowed him anywhere to be led into 
embittered personal contests. 

From " The Kingston Daily News? 5th February 1863 (re- 
printed also in " The Times? Woodstock, Canada, 13th 
February 1863, and in other papers). 


" Thy spirit ere our fatal loss 

Did ever rise from high to higher, 

As mounts the homeward altar-fire, 

As flies the lighter through the gross." 

Participating in the sorrow of the whole community, we 
desire this day to record our humble tribute to departed worth. 
One who has been identified with the history of the province 
for more than half a century the chief judge of the land, the 
pride of the Bar, the ornament of society, and uniting with his 
public services those amiable qualities which adorn a Christian 
and a gentleman has been removed from us, leaving a name 
sans peur sans reproche, long to remain a household word in 
every Canadian home. 

The services of Sir John Robinson, though not perhaps so 
fully as they might have been, were certainly appreciated, and 


not only by the gratitude and esteem of the pen; 

but also by the personal distinction and favour of 

and never were honours more deservedly 1> 

gracefully borne, more dearly won honours that dike 

grace on the hand of her who gave them, .-IN l! 

with credit on the head of him who received them. 

On the day when the grave will enclose his mortal remains 
we desire, in grateful homage to his precious memory, to record, 
in imperfect words, a slight sketch of his exemplary cl 

Born to be a great man, nature had combined in Sir John 
Robinson admirable gifts. Possessed of a handsome and manly 
countenance, a dignified and graceful figure, an open and 
courteous manner, together with an amiable and endearing 
position, he might at any time have I ;!ed out as a 

representative man. lie had talents of the highest order, \\hich 
he exercised with disinterested lovaltv, and, though the recipient 
of the highest honours, he bore them with unaffected humility. 

A scion of that grand old stock we love to remember 
U.E. Loyalists, true to the traditions of his K . the 

blood-stained heights of <<)ueenston, t! ipturc of 

Detroit, found him foremost to repel IM :iis King, 

to preserve inviolate the integrity of his native soil. Th 
himself a leader, he was cheerful to be led, and when tro 
from within threatened more recently to dim the lustre o! 
Crown, we found him, the highest in the Jand, and no longer a 
youth, the first to shoulder the musket, to buckle on the crow- 
belts, and boldly stand forth to baffle his conn 1 uith 
the humblest of men. Lovaltv with him was no mere senti- 
ment : it required Hot to be kindled by 'it, fanned by 
passion, or fed by the hope of future reward : deeply rooted, it 
twined in tendrils round his heart, it welled from his 1 

Called, as we next find him, to the Councils of his 
he established with his pen the victories of the sword. Ch 
as the representative of the people, he gave them wist- la\\.s for 
their future happiness and contentment. 

Of all the virtues in public men, that which is perhaps 
evinced most seldom is that happy combination of wisdom and 
discretion which advises and direc' 1 by 

prejudice and untarnished by selfish ends. True it is that 
wisest and best of men have erred, for mortality must be 


fallible. But nations must ever delight to honour those who 
have spent their lives in their country's cause, to forget their 
errors, and to applaud the purity of their motives, their use- 
fulness, and zeal. 

The prominent position Sir John Robinson held in the 
Legislature necessarily brought him in contact with many who 
differed from him, but even these held him in honourable 
estimation; and none will deny that the jealousies and ani- 
mosities attendant upon his political career have long since 
been lived down, and are now almost entirely forgotten. As a 
speaker, Sir John was fluent and elegant, his arguments were 
forcible and his language classical and refined, and seldom did 
he raise his musical and eloquent voice without conveying 
assurance to his friends and discomfort to his opponents. In 
politics he was Conservative, a Tory of the old school, a true 
type of " a Church and King man." The policy of his Govern- 
ment was essentially imperial, not cosmopolitan. Devoted to 
British institutions, and attached to well-established customs, 
he opposed alike all experiments in legislation, and those 
reforms which had little else than the novelty of change to 
recommend them. Truly it may be said of him that he feared 
no man ; and actuated by patriotism, inspired by duty, and 
ever jealous of the chastity of his oath, he gave his support 
only to such measures as he considered conducive to the 
prosperity of his country, and advised such laws as tended to 
the advancement of religion and virtue. 

In the scene which he loved, and where he laboured most, 
among the members of his chosen profession, he was ever 
regarded with veneration and pride. Possessed of a legal 
mind, with great accuracy and strength of memory, deeply read 
in every branch of j urisprudence, speedy in despatch, but never 
impatient, cautious, laborious, and painstaking, he stood pre- 
eminent as a lawyer, and had no rival to envy his position as 
first judge in the province. Amid all the trials and difficulties 
of his station, he preserved unscathed the integrity of his 
honour. Unawed by a frown, unswayed by a smile, uninfluenced 
by feeling, and unruffled by passion, he " truly and faithfully 
administered justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, 
and to the maintenance of true religion and virtue." It was 
after three-and-thirty years of anxiety and toil, amid the 


grateful applause of all his compeers, without one ci.< 
without one spot on his memory, he doffed the ermine 
his .shoulders, and with fitting sorrow returned it to In- 
Sovereign, in stainless purity. Oft, indeed, will the 
of his name be invoked in tho-t Inch witne. . 

many years of his useful life, for though the laws he i 
change with successive ages, hi , his wi-doi. 

judgments are for all time. 

With the same becoming dignity with which h- 
over the Judiciary, he took, as Chancellor of the ' 
Trinity College, his seat at the head of her Council. It \s 
happy thought that caused the Church to place so distingn: 
a son in that proud position. lie valued it- to make 

himself worthy of it he succeeded and who can rep! 

It may be thought that the sphere was a limited one in 
which Sir John Robinson attained his eminence; but win 
consider how varied were his attainments, and how fit!. 
performed the duties of the different positions lie occupied. 
conception of the narrowness of the field of his labours \\ill In- 
considerably extended. With an intellect so grand, with ideas 
so large and comprehensive, a ripe scholar, and a polished 
gentleman, he would have attained eminence almost in any 

The golden rule of this truly great man was Duty. It 
guided every thought, it actuated every motive: he insn 
it on his banner, he fought under its inspiration. 1' 
was his persistent devotion to duty that led to the great 
mistake of his life; and it is with melancholy gratitude we 
record his unhappy error, ('lifted with a healthful and a. 
mind, together with a strong and vigorous constitution 
overlooked the great truth that none of Nature's lav 
transgressed with impunity, and that there are bound 
which human exertion must strive in vain to pass. Anil with 
a zeal and noble self-devotion, which neither the premoni 
warnings of disease nor bodily suffering could abate, he weight d 
down his earthly tenement by incessant toil, and rather than 
nek the necessary repose which length of services permitted 
and impaired health demanded, he sacrificed his valued life in 
obedience to the sacred dictates of conscientious duty. 

He is now taken from us, and his place knows him no more ; 


but though he has gone, he has left us the legacy of heroes, the 
memory of his great name, the inspiration of his great example. 

In giving the character of Sir John Robinson, it is difficult 
not to blend those excellencies which raised him so high in 
public estimation with those private virtues which showed his 
stability and moral worth. His manners, simple but dignified, 
shunned pedantry, scorned dissimulation, and despised affecta- 
tion. He was of easy access, cheerful and instructive, eloquent 
and truthful. He was well read in philosophy and history, 
with a great taste for poetry and the arts. Accomplished in 
classic literature, he has been known during the fatigues and 
labours of the circuit to find relaxation in a Latin poem. In 
his youth he took great delight in all manly sports, and in his 
later years found constant enjoyment in improving the garden 
attached to his residence. He was fond of sociability, and was 
most generously hospitable. He loved to promote good 
humour and happiness, and his powers of conversation, with 
his lively wit, never failed to be thoroughly appreciated. He 
had a kind word for everybody, and a hard or ungenerous 
expression was foreign to his lips. In short, he had a con- 
science clear and void of offence he had a heart of charity, 
a soul of love. 

But far above all the excellencies we have mentioned, he had 
a higher, a nobler, and a happier character, without which he 
might have been admired and even respected, but could have 
been scarcely either loved or esteemed. Sir John Robinson 
was a good man good in the holiest and purest sense of the 
word a goodness uniting the duties of a subject with the 
piety of a Christian. In the world but not of it, his practical 
religion evidenced itself in his everyday life. He feared God, 
he loved his Saviour, looking to His all-sufficient atonement for 
his eternal salvation ; and truly he evinced " the fruits of the 
Spirit in all goodness, righteousness, and truth." Deep-seated 
and unwavering was his attachment to the Church of England, 
to whose communion he belonged ; and to promote its welfare 
was among the chief objects of his life. Though deeply imbued 
with her doctrines, with a strict regard to her discipline, and 
uncompromising in his belief of the truths she taught, he never 
tarnished his zeal by bigotry, or clouded the purity of his love 
by fanaticism. Obeying the Divine decree, " to love thy 

APl'KNIHX 4(13 

neighbour as thyself," to IHJ of n .ve pleasu: 

fellow-creatures was an element in his nature ess. 
happiness. In fact we may sum up tin- entiiv 
this truly great and good man by -hat K> 

husband, affectionate as a brother, indulgent as | 
faithful as a friend, loyal as a citizen, and prayerful 
Christian in all the relations of life h 
Peace and serenity blessed the last moments of hi- 
pilgrimage. Surrounded by all lie held imt dear, calm. 
the assurance of a heavenly rest, hi> soul, pillowed in the 1). 
of his Saviour, was wafted to the mansions of hi 
house, there to receive an everlasting crown of glory that 
fadeth not away. 

He has gone, but he yet lives lives to his d . who 

will embalm his sweet memory in loving hearts '. :'dth- 

ful ones, who will cherish the remembrance of his friendship 
among the choicest of earthly blessings lives to a grateful 
people, who will long j )lv ,, ;i the beauty of his purity 

and virtue lives to futuiv . who, with pride, will 

recall his greatness, copy his example, and ever delight to 
honour the imperishable name of 


Extract from "The British Standard? Perth. Count if <f 
Lanark, Canada. -nary 1863. 


"Star after star decays ! " The mo-t h< i able 

gentleman that ever Upper Canada produced ha died 

away, in the fulness of years and h- ' last, 

died, at his residence in Toronto. Sir John Bevurley Holm. 
Bart., for many years Chief-Justice of Her V Court of 

Queen's Bench in Upper Canada. Uy his d 
has lost a most devoted and loyal subject, and the Chm 
warm-hearted, zealous, and faithful son. As an upright judge, 
he had no superior; as a citizen, in every relation of life, but few 
equals; as an upright knight, sun* " fear or reproach," the old 
Chief- Justice will be held in long and grateful remembr., 


Link after link of the chain which binds the past generation to 
the present is being rudely snapped. A few more, and all the 
old historic names which adorn the escutcheon of the Upper 
Province, and add grace and dignity to its record, will have 
passed away. 

The "Old Chief" was, in the fullest sense of the term, a 
profound and thereby we mean a deeply read lawyer. In 
early days a brilliant advocate ; in mature years, the adorn- 
ment of the Bench. Kind and considerate, many a gentleman 
who appends the word " barrister " after his signature, will, 
now that the " Old Chief" is laid low, call to grateful remem- 
brance the encouragement which he received, in his early efforts, 
at his hands. He was a ripe, though not a brilliant scholar. 
His great characteristic was solidity of judgment : a Paladin of 
the ancient sort, he stood without a rival. His very bearing 
was chivalrous. Had he lived in the days of England's Mighty 
Regicide, he had graced the ranks of the Cavaliers, gallant men 
who poured out their blood like water on behalf of a family 
scarcely worthy of the heroic efforts which were made in their 
behalf. Loyalty to the Crown was sternly impersonified in the 
person of the Old Chief; with him, loyalty was not merely a 
duty, but a passion ; and Canada will never look upon his like 
again. From the Montreal Gazette we copy the following 
article, being a graceful tribute to the memory of the 
deceased : 

" News of the death of Chief-Justice Sir John Beverley 
Robinson, Bart., comes very quickly upon the heels of that 
which told us of the departure from among us of Bishop 
Mountain. Our last impression contained the announcement 
of his illness, and now we hear of his death at the age of 
seventy-one. Chief-Justice Robinson was one of the foremost 
men in Upper Canada, and for many years his name has been 
familiar as a household word. The son of a United Empire 
Loyalist, he was long the pride of the party known as the 
'Family Compact,'' which at times excited the utmost enmity 
of faction and the warmest affection of friends. It may be 
said emphatically that the Crown of Great Britain never had 
a more loyal subject than him whose death we now announce. 
With him loyalty was something more than a sentiment ; it was 
a religion. It was born with him, and ran in his blood. . . . 


Whatever may be the strength or value of the opinioi 
those who widely differ from Chief-Just: tin- 

existence in any country of a class of men ho! tic-al 

opinions with the convictions of religion cannot IK- a matter 
of indifference. They gave, under what we mav call the old 
colonial regime in Canada, the reins of government into 
hands of their possessors, who also weiv tlu- men of cultivation 
and the gentlemen of the colony. It is much to say of him 
that the bitterness of faction has not left one itaio 
name. His diction was clear, and often eloquent. Hur 
fame will not rest upon his rhetoric. He was, Io- 
nian of high legal and other attainments and of clear head ; 
although it must be said that he owed the success which In- 
obtained as well to his birth and portion as to his undoubted 
intellect and attainments. He was an attached member of tin- 
Church of England; and, take him for all in all, 1 
behind him a name and character of which any man mi<;ht be 
justly proud." 

Extract from "The Illustrated London News" 
London, 1th Munh 1C 


. . . Sir John Robinson died at Beverley House on the 
31st of January, leaving behind him a name which will ever be 
of high repute in the history of Canada. Sir Fra I, in 

"The Emigrant,"" published in 184-6, delineated him as follow 
" Of Chief- Justice Robinson's character, I will only allow \\. 
briefly to say, that a combination of such strong religious and 
moral principles, modesty of mind, and such instinctive talent 
for speaking and writing, I have never before been acquainted 
with : that every Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada for the 
last twenty-five years has officially expressed an opinion of this 
nature, which by general acclamation I firmly believe would he 
acknowledged by every man in the North American colonies 
whose opinion is of any value." Sir John Reveries Robinson 
was buried on the 4th ult. in the family vault in St. Jai: 
Cemetery, Toronto. 

2 G 


Extract from " The Guernsey Star" Guernsey, Channel Islands, 
Z8th February 1863. 


The death, at Toronto, on the 31st ult., of this eminent and 
excellent man the late Chief-Justice of Upper Canada has 
been recently announced. He was born in July 1791, and was 
thus in his seventy-second year. In August 1812, or above 
half a century since, he served under Sir Isaac Brock as a 
lieutenant of militia, at the capture of Detroit ; and was also 
present on the 13th of October following at the battle of 
Queenston Heights, when, unfortunately for his country, " the 
Hero of Upper Canada," as he is still affectionately termed in 
that province, was killed. ... Sir John Robinson visited 
Guernsey in July 1855, partly for the purpose of seeing the 
birthplace and family of his former chieftain, for whose memory 
and services he entertained the highest affection. 

From a Toronto Journal, 7th February 1863. 

A bitter loss thou bring'st to us, O Death, 
Dread tyrant reigning o'er the sons of earth, 
Oh, who shall tell our land what matchless worth 

Has passed away before thy blighting breath ? 

Wise in his counsels, just, yet not severe, 
True to his country and his country's Queen, 
Now only are his virtues truly seen, 

O fatal sight, bought with a price so dear. 

Pure as the snow that decks his lonely bed, 
And o'er his rest spreads nature's virgin pall, 
So pure and spotless seemed his life to all 

That loved him living, and bewail him dead. 

Dead to all earthly honours and our love, 
With higher praise and glory he is crowned, 
That mercy shown on earth, his soul has found, 

And stands acquitted at the bar above. 

Al'l'KXniX 109 









Born 2()th July I7j)l. Died 30th January 

Having served with distinction at the Capture of Detroit and the 
Battle of Queenston Heights in is 1'J, he was in the same year 

at the early age of 21 years 
Appointed Acting Attorney-General of Upper Canada 

and subsequently became 

Solicitor-General and Attorney-General of the Provr 
He was elected as the first representative of the Town of York, 
and sat in the House of Assembly until he was appoint 
Speaker of the Legislative Council 


Chief-Justice of Upper Canada, 

which latter office he held for nearly thirty-three years, 

when he was appointed the first President of the Court of Appeal. 

He was first Chancellor of the University of 

Trinity College, Toronto. 

A consistent and earnest Churchman, he was a constant attendant 
of this Church from its foundation. 





Daughter of Charles Walker, Esquire 

of Harlesden, Middlesex, England. 
Born 10th July 17.93. Died 2<)th May IK 

" Her children rise up, and call her blessed." 

This Window and Tablet are erected by their children. 






Born in Virginia about 1763 
Died at York (now Toronto) 2nd November 1798 

Buried in the Garrison Burial Ground. 

After serving the Crown as an Officer of the Queen's 

Rangers, in the American Revolutionary War, he settled 

in Canada, and was appointed Deputy Ranger of Crown Woods. 

He was one of the first Benchers of the Law Society of 

Upper Canada, and in the second Parliament of the Province 

represented Lennox and Addington, in the House of Assembly. 


ESTHER, his Wife, daughter of the Rev. John Sayre. 
Died 1827. 


PETER. Member for York and of the Executive and Legislative 
Councils, and Commissioner of Crown Lands, 

Born 1785. Died 1838. 

MARY, Wife of Stephen Heward. Born 1787. Died 1863. 
SARAH, Wife of D'Arcy Boulton. Born 1789. Died 1863. 
JOHN BEVERLEY, for many years Chief-Justice of Upper Canada. 

Born 1791. Died 1863. 

WILLIAM BENJAMIN. Member of the Legislative Assembly, 
Inspector-General of Upper Canada, and Commissioner 
of the Canada Company. Born 1797. Died 1873. 
Married Eliza Ann Jarvis. Born 1801. Died 1865. 
ESTHER. Died unmarried, 1811. 

This Tablet is erected by the grandchildren of 
and ESTHER SAYRE, his Wife. 



IT may be of use that, in this Life of a descendant of tin- I 'nited 
Empire Loyalists, I should refer hen-, more fully than I 
done in Chapters I. and VII., to these Pioneers of UPJKI 

One of the earliest mentions of them, and which accounts 
probably for the designation by which they arc known, is con- 
tained in a Record which states that, at the suggestion of 
General Gage, 1 Governor and Communder-in-( 'liief in North 
America at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, a number 
of Loyalists met together, October 

in a British Colony (which was besieged in that year), and 
formed a Society called 

"The Loyalist Associators desiring the T'nity of the 

Afterwards, when, at the close of the contest, they came, 
as exiles, to Nova Scotia and also to Canada, where Lord 
Dorchester, 2 who had himself fought in ' utionary 

Contest, was Governor-General, they wriv >pokm of as "' 
United Empire Loyalists." 

Imperial Unity, i.e. that the Empire should remain bound 
together, throughout its wide extent, in the . inion 

beneath the British flag, is now generally realised as of supreme 
importance to the well-being and greatness of the nation. 

1 General the Hon. Thomas Gage, a brother of Viscount Gage, and 
who died 1788. 

8 General Sir Guy Carlcton, l>t Huron D r, was Li. 

raised to the IVerairo in "l7K'i. the MUMMHrtoBi to k 

two beavers distinctive of ( anada. I If \\a- one of the ablest and mot 

distinguished of the governor.- of Canada. 


The history therefore of " The United Empire Loyalists," who 
may be said to have been Imperial Pioneers fighting and suffer- 
ing much for this Unity, has a very special interest. 

A hundred and twenty years ago, i.e. in 1784, when, after 
the Revolutionary War in America, the Treaty of Separa- 
tion had granted Independence to the old British Colonies 
now the United States, every one was well aware who were 
meant by the United Empire or, as they have been some- 
times termed, The American Loyalists, for they were then 
emigrating by thousands, from what had been their homes, into 
neighbouring British possessions, where they could once more 
be under the old flag. 

But since the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, when 
they may be said to have received their distinctive designation, 
much has occurred which has tended with some to obscure its 
origin and meaning ; and this tendency has been increased by 
the different senses in which the word " America " is often used 
sometimes to include the whole continent, with Canada, and 
more frequently to imply the United States alone. 

For instance, during the Revolutionary War itself there 
were other Loyalists whose homes were not in those colonies 
which had rebelled, but who, as well as the United Empire 
Loyalists, had fought for the Crown ; such as the loyal 
subjects, both French and English, who defended Canada, under 
Lord Dorchester, against the American Revolutionary Forces 
in 1775-76, at the siege of Quebec. 

Again, in the war of 1812-15, other loyal subjects of the 
king fought side by side with the United Empire Loyalists 
and their descendants ^against "America," then The United 
States, chiefly in defence of Canada. 

Also the United States have had their own struggle for 
Union during the Civil War between the North and South 
which terminated in 1865. 

To Canadians, and those well versed in the history of the 
New World, all this creates no uncertainty as to who are 
meant by the American Loyalists or The United Empire 
Loyalists, but with some others it does* they are doubtful, 
and not without justification, what Americans are meant i.e. 
whether British Americans, or citizens of the United States; 
what unity they fought for, and even to what cause they were loyal. 


Moreover, as it is long since the immigration of 
United Empire Loyalists into Canada took place, and as in 
Canadian history they have, although belonging to dili'. 
political parties (see paiu- !!):>), been, as a hotly. b of 

agitation, staunch to Government, an impression certainly 
an erroneous one seems to have grown up among some 
they were more or less a British Government party or clique; 
and on that account were possibly unduly favoured and hono 

It may therefore be of service to explain here exactly who 
they were, and record some matters of interest with respect to 

The United Empire Loyalists are those who when the 
British Colonies in America, now incorporated in the United 
States, rose in rebellion in 1775, and civil war broke out 
in their midst, took the royal side, in order to keep those 
colonies under the Crown, and within the Empire. 

They were, in short, Rovalists, and by their oppom-n' 
matter what their political views on other subjects than lo\ 
to the Crown might be) were termed ' 

The revolutionary contest which cnt on for eight years 
had all the bitterness of civil war: it divided families into 
camps, father against son, and brother against brother; and, as 
in the end the royal was the losing side, it entailed persecu- 
tion, confiscation of property, and banishment upon those \\ ho 
had supported that side. 

Whether on the whole the result of the war was a 
fortune to the world or even to Great Britain h iV be 

now a doubtful question (see pap ), but it left tin- 

United Empire Loyalists in a cruel position. 

It is the circumstances of their situation which di- 
them from those other Loyalists who fought for the Crown in 
Canada in 1775-76 and in *1M^ 15, :u-llion and separa- 

tion from the Crown had taken place in Canada, uhich 
firm in her loyalty ; and so the subjects of the king there had not 
been called upon to endure, in addition to the hardshij 
war, all the persecution, suffering, pecuniar \ 
of family ties, which had fallen upon the "United Empire 
Loyalists" who came as refugees to Canadian soil. 

As far as loyalty is concerned, however, all the Loyalist- 
had a common devotion to their sovereign; and it may be 


added that although the United Empire Loyalists were, from 
the circumstances of the settlement of those colonies which had 
been their homes, largely British and Protestant, there were 
no more staunch loyalists in Canada, during the War of the 
Revolution, and in that of 1812-15, than the members of the 
higher French families, and members of the Roman Catholic 
Church. Of the Scotch Highland Loyalists many were Roman 
Catholics as well as Presbyterians. 

What distinguishes the " United Empire Loyalists " from 
others is that they were very special sufferers from their fidelity 
to what became a lost cause, and to tenets which they valued 
above everything in life. Among them, as well as among their 
opponents, were many to whom staunch adherence to their 
convictions may be said to have been almost a religion, and to 
have come down in their blood. 

Some, for instance the De Lanceys, were direct descendants 
of the Huguenots ; and many were Jacobites emigres to the New 
World after the risings in Scotland in 1689, 1715, and 1745. 
Among the latter were Captain Allan M'Donald and his wife, the 
celebrated Flora M 'Donald ; J the Glengarry Highlanders, &c. 

I need not dwell at length upon the unhappy situation 
of Loyalist families in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, 
Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c. All this is 
to be clearly gathered from what has been written by descend- 
ants of those opposed to their views, but who do not the less 
admire the constancy they displayed in adversity. Their story, 
though no really exhaustive history of them has yet appeared, 
is to be found in Lorenzo Sabine's " American Loyalists,"" 1842, 
and " Biographical Sketches of the Loyalists of the American 
Revolution," 1864; but the author says in his preface, ex- 
plaining his difficulty in obtaining particulars : 

" Men who like the Loyalists separate themselves from 
their friends and kindred, who are driven from their homes, 
who surrender the hopes and expectations of life, and who 
become outlaws, wanderers, and exiles such men leave few 
memorials behind them ; their papers are scattered and lost, 
and their very names pass from human recollection. . . . Of 

1 Five of Flora McDonald's sons fought in the Revolutionary War 
in various Loyalist corps. Her husband, Allan McDonald of Kingsburgh, 
was in the " Royal Highland Emigrants," afterwards 84th Regiment. 
(Trans. U.E.L. Assoc., Ont, 1901-2. 


several of the Loyalists who were high in office; of oHi.-r.s \vho 

were men of talents and acquirements; and of still others who 

were of less consideration, I have been abi 

extreme researches, to learn scarcely more than ii 

the single fact that for their political opinions they were 

scribed and banished." 

Mr. George Ellis, President of the Massachusetts Hi- 
Society, writes: "The terms 'Tories,' ' Lo , 
are burdened with the piteous record of wrong and Miftt-ri:. 
and Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, referring to the mob outran 
New York in 1775, writes : "It is impossible to paint in too 
dark colours the ferocity of the strife Mweni \Vhirs ami 
Tories. The mob broke into and plundered the 1 
wealthy Loyalists, rode Tories on rails; or tar; 
or otherwise brutally maltreated them, or utterly refused to 
others the liberty of speech they so vociferou.slv demanded for 

It is from no mere petty or unworthy fet-ling that, in 
Canada, and elsewhere, the descendants of thoe firm Loyalists 
are proud to have come down from them, for it would be a 
great reflection upon themselvi t not so. T! 

says Professor Lecky, " were contending for an ideal which was 
at least as worthy as that for which \Yashington fought. 
maintenance of one free, industrial, and pacific Empire, . 
prising the whole of the English race, mav have been a dr 
but it was at least a noble one." (" History of the Eighteenth 

When, driven from their old homes, they xnight. new ones 
in 1784, a few went to England, but the 1 i >rity, left 

without resources, moved naturally to the British posse- 
on their own side of the Atlantic. 

Some thousands came to Canada which was then chiefly 
French in population (what is now the province of (Quebec), 
having been a British colony for about twenty-live years, and 
here, as elsewhere in the British provinces, ti cordially 


As settlers they were of a character invaluable, especially 
for the upper portions of Canada, then almost unsettled, and to 
which the great majority, though not all of them, went. 

Republican views had triumphed in the ^ tales, and 


were about to triumph in Old France, but they had not become 
dominant in Canada, although that country lay upon the 
American border, a fact which speaks much for the good 
understanding existing between Lord Dorchester, as well as 
other early Governors, and those they ruled, under the old 
British regime. 

At that period British and French in Canada were (see 
page 254) not opposed to each other, as for a time they 
became more or less, during the agitations of later years, and 
then, as now, both were, in the mass, strongly monarchical in 

It was here that the U.E. Loyalists received that dis- 
tinction which has been termed their " Charter in Canada," so 
I must refer more particularly to it. 

The official record states that on the 9th November 1789, in 
the Council Chamber at Quebec, the Governor, Lord Dorchester, 
" expressed his desire to put a mark of honour upon those 
families who had adhered to the unity of the Empire, and 
joined the Royal Standard in America l before the Treaty of 
Separation in the year 1783." 

This desire the Council met in the way which it was then 
most to the interest of the province and most in their power 
to meet it, by directing that the sons and daughters of these 
Loyalists both born and to be born as well as the Loyalists 
themselves, should, under certain restrictions, receive grants 
of land from the Crown ; but it was further ordered that " a 
register should be made of the names of all persons falling 
under the description aforementioned, to the end that their 
posterity may be discriminated from future settlers, in the 
parish registers, and rolls of the militia of their respective 
districts, and other public remembrancers of the province, as 
proper objects by their persevering in the fidelity and conduct 
so honourable to their ancestors, for distinguished benefits and 
privileges." This direction was carried out ; and the register 
then made of their names, and now preserved in the Crown Lands 
Department, Toronto, is called The U.E. Loyalist Roll, or List. 2 

1 Meaning in the Colonies which separated from the Crown, now the 
United States. 

2 Published in " The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada, 
1784-1884," by the Centennial Committee. Toronto, 1885. 


The members of Council present when this Ord- 
Ordinance, was passed were : 

H.E. The Right Hon. Lord l)orche>ter (Governor-General) 

The Hon. William Smith (Chief-Jus- 

Hugh Finlay George Powell 

Thomas Dunn 1 1 nrv (aid. 

Edward Harrison William (irant 

John Collins ft n ;l i,y 

Adam Mabane Charles de Lanaudu re 

J. G. C. Delery Le Comte Dupiv 

In connection with the above names it is to be no 
that they are representative of Canada generally, and oi 
mere party in it. 

Lord Dorchester had commanded the British forces at the 
siege of Quebec in 1775-76, and no governor has ever been more 
respected by all classes, French and, than he 
"From the first, 11 writes Mr. Mac-Mullen, " he had h. 
friend to Canada; and its people had been largely indebted to 
his humanity, sound common sense, and love of constitutional 
liberty 1 ' 1 for the condition of the country at this period. 

Colonel Le ComU- Dupiv, of an old French family, had 
commanded the Canadian Militia at the siege of < II. 

is stated in history to have saved the garrison, by his alertness, 
from surprise on one occasion. 

The names of Delerey (or De Lery), Kil>\, and De 
Lanaudiere are also French; and any one who will turn to 
Canadian biographies can see from them and from of 
Chief-Justice William Smith, Thomas Dunn, and others, that 
this Council was composed of moderate men of no extreme 
political views, and of different religious per 

They were certainly all Loyalist in feeling, but that they did 
not pass the Order in Council of the 9th November 17S<) to do 
honour to their own immediate loyal followers or the: 
very clear, for no names except those of United Km i 
immigrants to Canada from the colonies which had rebelled, 
appear on the official lists (the United Kmpire Loyalist Roll) 
which they directed to be drawn up and r> 

The "Mark of Honour 11 to the United Kmpire loyalists 
was in fact and this adds greatly to its value a Canadian 

1 " History of Canada," p. 222. 


distinction conferred by the Government of Loyal Canada 
upon her new sons (with their posterity) who had in their old 
homes so unflinchingly upheld the principles which she herself 
held dear, and who had made the sacrifices they had for " One 
Empire under One Flag." 

It was not conferred for any political or party service, was 
confined to no rank or class, and was honourable alike to those 
connected with its bestowal and those who received it. 

If any of the United Empire Loyalists may have entertained 
too high ideas of their individual claims upon Government 
(see page 194) and there can of course be no claim but fitness 
to public employment it can at least be said on their behalf 
that it would be difficult to find in any part of the Empire 
hereditary honours or marks of distinction which have been 
awarded for services to the Crown more good and faithful than 
those of these men, or which date from an origin more honour- 
able than that of the Order, 1 or Ordinance, passed in Canada 
by the representative of the King in Council on the 9th 
November 1789. 

United Empire Loyalist Associations now exist in all parts 
of the Canadian Dominion, and United Empire Loyalists are 
declared 2 to be the families and posterity of those who 
"adhered to the unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal 
Standard in America before the Treaty of Separation in the 
year 1783 ; " or who " both at, and after, the Revolution were 
in consequence of their loyalty driven out of the revolted 
States, or found continued residence in those States to be 
intolerable by reason of the persecutions to which they were 
subjected, and voluntarily withdrew therefrom in order to 
reside under the flag to which they desired that they and their 
children should remain for ever loyal." 

The United Empire Loyalists in Canada are the descendants 
there of those coming under the above description, and the 
aim of the United Empire Loyalist Associations is to perpetuate 
the unity of the Empire, to preserve the traditions of the 
Loyalists, and to unite together their descendants, irrespective 
of political party, nationality, creed, or social rank. 

1 Every Ordinance passed by the Council at this period had to |be 
transmitted within six months for the approbation of the king. 

2 Constitution and By-laws of the United Empire Loyalists' Association 
of Ontario, 1898. Of this John Beverley Robinson, Lt.-Gov., Ontario, 
1880-7, was President in 1896. 


ABBOT, W. (Actor and Dramati- 
Abbotsford, visit to Sir Walter 

at, 128 to 131 
Aberdeen, Lord. 
Aberdeen, visit t 
Act, as t<- at Law and Bar- 

risters (1815), 54, 409, 410 
Adams, Colonel, 102 
Adams, Mr. Serjeant , 
Adams, W. Dacres, 21, 98, 102, 103, 

11 it 

Airey, Julius, 3K9 
Airey, Mrs. (afterwards Lady Airey), 


Airey, Colonel Sir Richard, (after- 
wards Lord Ain . 
Alava, General, 274, 275, 287, 306 
Alderson, Baron, 373, 376 
Aliens, as to trial for treason of, 218 

to 222 

Alien Bills, 183, 184 to 187, 190, 191 
Alison, Rev. Archibald, 16, 128 

Sir Archibald (Historian), 131, 


General Sir Archibald, 451 
Lady, 16, 132 
Margaret F. (daughter-in- 
law), -l.'l 
Allan, Major William, 29, 39, 59, 62, 

George W. (son-in-law), 29, 

337, 352, 450 
Mrs. George W. (daughter), 286, 

J, 340, 450 

Mrs. George W., 450 
Alnwick, 132; marriage of Lord Percy, 


Alvanley, Lord, 95 
Amsterdam, 110 
Amyott, Mr., 284 
Anderson Extradition Case, 326 
Andre, Major, 11, 415 
Andre", Mr., 77 
Anson, Col. and Mrs., 306 
Antwerp, visit to, 111, 112 
Antwerp, cathedral of, 112, 130 
Apsley House, 286, 287 
Arbuthnot, Mr., 274, 275, 280, 294, 

303, 304 
Ardagb, Dean of, 385 


Argyll, Duke of. 
Arnold, Gmeral 1 


tee Robinson, L 

. 363 
Arthur. Sir Geor-: -ere to, 


Assembly, House" of uient 

Assemblies at York (U. C.), 1*14. 41 1. 

at York (England), 370 to 372 
John Jacol 

Attorn. . practice as, 181 

Auldjo, Mr. 
Aylmer, Major, 379 

BABBAOB, Chark > 

Bailey. V 
Ball, :, 

at Ma: 
Banquc on resigning CJ.- 


Bar, w.i ,\>en of 


1 to English Bar, 150; and 
ichan as to 
> 160 
Congratulatory a rn Bar, 

<>rn, on retirement as 

Barclrr. I, 1 . H., 127 


, made Companion of the, 340 

from, as to 

Lonl. .is to union 

. 11* 
Bell, W- 

Hniian. Mr. -t.-j.-fat hor . 17. C'J 
Bench, U. C., war experience of, 46; 
as to decisions of. 3 i 



Berthon, Mr. (Artist), 338, 405 

Best, Mr. Serjeant, 83 

Bethune, A. N. (Bishop), 399 

Beverley, Robert, 3, 442 
Katherine, 3, 442 
Harry, 442 
William, 442 
Agatha, 442 

Beverley House, Hudson River, 439 
to 442 

Beverley House, Toronto, 135, 295, 
296, 339, 340 

Bidwell, Barnabas, 182, 183, 186, 187, 
188, 204, 205 

Bidwell, Marshal S., 188; letter to 
W. B. Robinson, 189, 190 

Bills, Alien, see Alien Bills 

Bill, The Union, see Union Bill 
Religious Denominations, 180, 181 

Blackwood, John, 94 

Bland, Mrs., 80 

Blenheim, 87 

Bliss, Henry, Q.C., 255 

Bookstalls (Chancery Lane), 82 

Booth, family of, 103 

Boulton, G. D'Arcy, Attorney-General 
(afterwards Judge), 25, 27, 46, 
57, 72, 120, 135, 136, 449 

Boulton, G. D'Arcy (brother-in-law), 

449, 468 
Mrs. D'Arcy (sister), 14, 236, 

316, 399, 408, 449, 468 
Rev. George, visit to, 120 
Henry, John, 84, 87, 98, 99 
Towers, 80 
William, 286, 288 

Bovell, Dr., 398 

Bower, Dr., 370 

Boxing (The Ring), 99, 100 

Bradshaw, F., 191, 195, 205, 208, 243, 

Bramwell, G. W. (Baron), 376 

Brief, first held, 54 

Brock, General Sir Isaac, 28, 30; 
at Detroit, 31 ; at Queenston 
Heights, 34, 35 ; burial at Fort 
George, 40; his military opera- 
tions, 47 to 51 ; letters to Sir G. 
Prevost, 48, 50, 51 ; great services 
to Canada, 51, 52 ; as to state of 
Militia, U.C., 61 ; connections of, 
in Guernsey, 390 

Brodie, Sir Benjamin, 290, 368 

Broek, village of, 110 

Brougham, Lord, 98, 220, 221, 285, 
287, 288 ; as to the American in- 
vaders, 289 ; 356 

Brown, of Rossington (Sheriff), 371 

"fif- 1 ,, Colonel, 384, 385 

Brownlee, Miss, 279 

Brummel, Beau, 95 

Brussels, 112 

Buchanan, James, 388 

Buckle, Admiral, 381 

Buller, Mr., 244 

Bullock, Captain, 37, 42 

Buonaparte, 86 

Burghersh, Lord, 306 

Burgoyne, Sir John, 387, 388 

Burnside, Dr., 349 

Business, as to conduct of public, 

223 to 225 
By, Colonel, 330 
Bytown, 330 

CALDWELL, Mr., 157 
Cambridge, King's College at, 133 
Cameron, Captain Duncan, 32, 34, 36, 


J. Hillyard, 400, 401 
Campbell, Lt. -Colonel, 10 

,, Lord (C.J. ), 370, 374, 378, 


Thomas (Poet), 102 ; family 
of, 103, 119, 127, 128 to 
132, 289, 290, 356 
Sir William (C.J., U. C.), 

46, 62, 196, 199, 424 
Canada, defence of, 67, 68, 69, 245, 
246; Duke of Wellington as to, 
69, 281 to 284, 309, 310, 330; 
Sir R. Peel as to, 310, 311 
Effect of wars on British connec- 
tion, 70, 71 
Never likely to desire independence 

of Great Britain, 166 
Fiscal relations between Upper and 

Lower, 139, 147 
Emigration to, 139, 167 
Proposed Union Upper and Lower 
(in 1822), 139, 152 ; (in 1839), 239 
Urges in lieu (in 1823) that of the 
British N.A. Provinces, 152 to 155 
Again (in 1824-25), 161 to 166 
Again (in 1839-40), 257 to 260 
Condition of Canada between 1815 

and 1840, 201 

Foreign invaders of (in 1837-38) and 

Foreign Aggression Act, 213 to 

221 ; Duke of Wellington as to 

firm execution of the laws, 222 

Resolution of Leg. Council, U. C., 


Debate on, in House of Commons, 
302 ; contribution of, to Patriotic 
Fund, 363 ; as to Appeal cases 
from, and Canadian Judgments, 
326, 375, 389 ; visit of Prince of 
Wales to, 392, 393 
Canada Bill, see Union Bill 


" Canada and the Can ida Bill " (by 
Sir J. B. Robinsoi ) 68, 70, 71 
72, 193, 239, 241, 2 16 . the Times 
as to, 247 ; consi- iers in it the 
probable effect ^ uniting the 
two Canadas Xione, 258, 262; 
Duke of Wr/ington as to the 

Canada CluK ' t) 298 
Canadi < w Bench, U. C. 


M /Judgments, see Canada 
/ Rebellion, if Rebellion 
Cana! ;, ,57, 288; interest in 

i f s promotion, I ilidean, 

i veiling 

/ on canals in Holland, 107-8, 111 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, 299, 304, 

Capitulation, Fort Detroit, as to 


Card-jv'irtk-s in London, 86 
Carey, Sir Peter S., 390 
Carleton, Sir Guy, see Dorchester, 


Mr. and Mrs., 279 
Carlisle, Lord, 38 1 
Caroline, burning of the, 215, 216; 

Sir A. MaoNab as u, 2-2- 

flag of the, 216 
Cathedrals, in Holland, 109 
Cavendish, Mr., 
Cecil, Lord Robert, 367 
Chalus, de (Count), 115, 116 
Chancery Court, see Courts of Law 
Characteristics, personal, 403 to 408 
Charlotte, Princess, marriage of, 101 
Chateauguay, victory of, 27, 64 
Chewett, Colonel, 59, 62 
Chief-Justice, U. C., changes in the 

emoluments of the post, 328, 423, 


Chisholm, William, 42 
Christian Knowledge, Society for 

Promotion of, 831, 349 
Church work, 331 to 334 
Cleasby, visit to, 382, 383 
Clergy Reserves, 171 to 178 ; Bill as 

to, 299 ; Duke of Wellington as 

to it, 304 

Clinton, Sir Henry, 10, 11, 416, 440 
Cloyne, Bishop of, 101 
Club, The Canada, 94, 298 ; the Royal 

Society, 369 
Clyde, Falls of the, 124 
Coach, travelling by, 126 
Cod-fishing, 74, 75 
Coffin, Colonel W. F., !. 
Colborne, Sir John, see Seaton, Lord 

Major, 385 
Coleridge, Sir J., 378 

Collins, Francis, 195 

Colonies, more complete knowledge of 


can view as to home policy 

Colours and Eagles, Whitehall Chapel, 

Colours, taken at 1 

Queenston Heights, and 

Niagara ; ti quent 

to 45 

Comn - Mission 

Commons, House o; 
Condolence, addresses of, from public 

bodies on his < i 
Confederation, consistent advocate 

of, 1 

see also under Union 
Consecration, of Bishop St rachan, 290, 

Conservative party, U. C., 191, l'J3, 

Conway, W. (Actor), Hf> 

Coombe, K- -. . J, 11. 

Cooper, Sir Astley 

Copley, Mr. S-rjcaut, see Lyndhurst, 


Cordwainers, Company of, 
Cornwall, the school a" . 

Council, Le K - C., Speaker 

of, 199; ceases to sit in. 
resolution of, 298 ; his work in, 
. 317 

Courts of Law (Canada), Judgments 
of, :; . ror and Ap- 

peal, U. C., appointed President 
of, 305 

Courts of Law (England), s: 
370 as to bad. 

witnesses. .e Old 

Bailey, 102; Assizes at York, :-570 
to 372; House of Lords Scotch 
Appeal, 374; Courts in Dub! 

Covent Garden, see Theatres, and 
Theatrical Fund 

Coventry, 120 

Crauford, Mr., 103 

Cress well, Sir Cress well (Judge), 370, 

Crimean War, outbreak of, 363 

Crowley, i;.-v. Mr.. 

Crystler's Farm, victory of, 64 

Camming, Dr., 380 


DACRKS, Captain (of the Guerriere). 

Day, Mr., Q.C., 255 



Dean, Sir Thomas, 385 

Defence of Canada, as to, see Canada 

Denison (Bishop), 298 

Denison, Colonel G. D., 49 

Dennis, Captain, 44 

Dent, J. C., 155, 263, 425 

Deputies, Chamber of, in France ; 
speaking from the Rostrum, 
116, 117 

Derby, Lord, 387, 388 

Derenzy, Major and Mrs., 96, 132 

Detroit, Fort, march to, 30, 40, 41 ; 
capture of, 31 ; prisoners taken 
at, 31, 32 ; colours taken at, 43 ; 
as to articles of capitulation of, 
45, 60; description of, 46; im- 
portance of, 48 

Dickens, Charles, 295 

Dickson, Robert, 94 

Dieppe, journey to, from Paris, 118 

Diggs, Seneca, 326 

Dighton, Mr. (Artist), 279 

D'Israeli, Benjamin, M.P., 369 

Dorchester, Lord, 11, 194, 469 

Draper, William Henry, 426 

Drew, Captain, 215 

Drinkwater, Lt. -Colonel, 96 

Drummond, General Sir Gordon, 55, 
56, 57, 62 ; recommends appli- 
cation for leave to be called to 
English Bar, 72 ; recommends 
for post of Attorney-General, 
U. C., 136, 137 

Drury Lane, see Theatres 

Dublin, visit to, 384, 385 

Dufferin, Lord, 381 

Duncombe, Mr., M.P., 369 

Dundas, Colonel T., 450 

Charlotte A., see Lefroy, Lady 
Lord, 371 

Dunlop, Mrs. E. S., 335 

Dunn, Colonel Alexander, 363 

Durham, Lord, 238, 240 ; short stay of 

in Upper Canada, 238, 242, 244 
Originally opposed to Union of the 

Canadas, 243, 244 
His Report on Canada as to Family 
Compact, 192 ; sketch of Upper 
Canada, 244, 245 ; policy as to 
French, 253 

View as to Union of the two 
Canadas and of B.N.A. Provinces, 
256; as to reforms contained in the 
Statute Book of Upper Canada, 

Union Bill (1839) framed on the 

Report, 239; tenor of the Bill 

(see also Union Bill), 248 to 250 

Reply to the Report (by Sir J. B. 

Robinson), 240, 242, 245, 257, 278 

Durham Report, see Durham 

EATON (Pede. 
Edgar, L 
Edinburgh, 125, 


Education, Scotch 

history of 

more the subject oi 3 

Loyalists' views as to', "?' u> ^ 
Elgin, Lord, 340, 348, 362, So o 7Q 
Ellenborough, Lord, 83 ' rf/y 

Ellice, Edward, 284, 378, 380 
Emery, Samuel (Actor), 95 . 
Emigrants, Irish, in Canada, 16b . 

Emigration to Canada, 167, 168, 170, 

England, Journal while in, 79 to 104, 

274 to 307, 364 to 390 
England, General Poole, 113, 133, 134 
Erskine, Lord, 95, 97 
Erskine, Mrs., 368 
Eton, 102 

Evans, Sir de Lacy, 388 
Evening parties in London, 88 
Evidence as to taking that of parties 

to a suit, 389 

Exchequer, Court of, see Courts of Law 
Exeter, Bishop of, 273, 304, 307, 311, 

372, 373 

FAIEFORD, Alan, sketch by, in 

Toronto Courier (1835), 316 to 318 
Family Compact, The, 183, 191, 192, 


Faraday, Michael, 381 
Farley, C. (Actor), 95 
Fawcett, John (Actor), 95 
Finlayson, Mr., 86, 97 
Fitz-Clarence, Lord Adolphus, 306 
Fitzgerald (Chancellor of Exchequer), 

Mr. (of Toronto), 370 

W. T. (Poet), 101 

Fitzgibbon, Colonel, 210, 211, 212, 213 
Follett, Sir W., Solicitor-General, as 

to American invaders, 288 
Foreign Aggression Act, 218 to 222 
Forster, Sir George, 379 

,, Mr., 379 
Forsyth, John, 94 
Mr., 126 
Forth, Miss, 104 
Foster, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel, their 

family, 84, 85 
Franklin, "Dr., 165 
Franks, Mr., 376 


French, politeness of 1 1 

ay, visit t. 
Funeral, 400, 451 

Garrick, David (A 

Mrs., 100, KM 
,v, Sir William. - 
at, Treaty <> 

Gilb< ililirs in York at 

!). r,<; 

(fill. Arthur. 1!U 
Gilh-spio, Mr.. : 
bone, W. !. 

w. IL'I 

JL'7. H10. L'7:: L>71 
Glei, Mac- 


. 1-27 
Gore, Governor. 


Gospel, ice Soci. agation of 


Gosse, Philip H. (Naturalist) 
Gou<;h, Lou: 
(Join-lay, K 
Graham, .sir,!.. 
Grant, Sir W.. M 
Granvillo. '.'7 
Grasett, Rev 

<tern (The). -'!7 ( .l 
Grey, Karl. 
,. Sir G- 

Grose, Mr. Justice, 96 
Guernsey, visit to, 390 
Gucrritre, frigate, action with the 

CtmrtttMtio*, ns> 
GuildhaU, 83, 370 
Gurney, Baron, I 
Gurwood, Colone' 



Hagermau, Christopher, Mr. Justice, 


,, Mary Jane, sfg Robinson, 
Mrs. John Beverley 

Hague (The), 107 

Halihurton. T. C., Mr. Justice, 367, 

Hallani (Historian). 372, 373 
Hamilton, Mrs., 13i, 3G5 


~* t 380 

-h Emi- 

ington and 

. MacNab, aa 

to t 

lASt I 




Hillier. '.. 386 



111 ; 

Napoleon's war- 

112; passion for dating article* 
< -SB (village 
. lid, 11! . 
I0l. l\'2 

Home life, 338 to 340 
Horton, Sir Wilmot, introduces Bill 
;uion of the two (. anadas 
: meetings with, 


Clergy Reserve, 
from, as to employment out of 

L> II 



Canada, 196 ; visit to, 279 ; also 
see 164, 172, 173, 196, 255, 272, 
288, 365, 386 

Household, ladies of the Queen's, see 

Hull, Brig. -General William, 30, 31, 

45, 49, 50 
,, Captain Abraham, 31 

Hullock, Mr., 88 

Hume, Mr. Joseph (M.P.), 299, 312, 356 

Huskisson, W. (Statesman), 386 

Hutchinson, Governor, plan of Con- 
federation of B. A. Provinces 
originally drawn up by, 165 

Huxley, Professor, 369 

ILLNESS, serious, 234,235, 394; last 

illness, 398, 399 

Illuminations, for the Peace (1815), 85 
for the Queen's Mar- 
riage, 296 
Ing, Mr., 120 
Inglis (Bishop), 287, 298 

Sir Kobert Harry, 272, 295, 
305, 365, 366, 368, 369 ; death of, 
373, 374 

Inn, " Dempsey's," at Aberdeen, 125 
Invaders, foreign, of Canada (1837-38), 

218 to 222, 281, 289 
Ipswich, 104 


JAMAICA, Bishop of, 367, 368 
Bill, debate on, 284 

Jameson, Vice-Chancellor, 383 
Mrs., 279 
Kev. J., 383 

Jarvie, Captain, 41, 124 
Jarvis, Cornet (afterwards Colonel), 
"Queen's Rangers," 415, 449 
Eliza ; see Robinson, Mrs. W. 

B., 449 

Lieut. S. P., 32, 42, 385 
Jeffrey, Francis (afterwards Lord), 126 

to 132 
Mrs., 127 

Jelf, R. W. (D.D.), 375, 380 
Jersey, Lord, 287 
Jervis (Chief-Justice), 370, 374 
Jones, Jonas, Mr. Justice, 46, 380 

(Jun.), 384 
Joseph, J., 226 

Journal, while in England, 79 to 104, 
274 to 307, 364 to 390 ; in Scot- 
land, 124 to 132 ; in Ireland, 384 to 
387 ; on the Continent, 104 to 118 
Judgments, Canadian, see Courts 
Judicial life, 313 to 328 ; changes in 
Canada during, 322 to 324 ; Law 
Journal, U. C., as to, 324 to 328 

Judicature, severance of, in Canada, 
from all connection with politics, 
313 ; some effects of the measure, 
315, 323, 324; importance of 
keeping free from suspicion of 
political bias, 314, 315 


KBAN, Edmund (Actor), 79, 101 

Kelso, scenery near, 132 

Kemble, Charles (Actor), 95, 102, 116 
,, John (Actor), 80 
Mr., 81 

Kenmare, Lord, 385 

Kent, Duke of, 95, 98, 101 

Killarney, Lake of, 385 

King's College, U. C., University of, 
charter obtained, 343 ; modifica- 
tions of it, 344, 345, 346 ; sever- 
ance of all religious instruction 
from, 347 ; feeling as to this, 
345, 346, 351, 352; Wellington 
Scholarships established in, 346, 
and removed to Trinity College, 
355 ; becomes the University of 
Toronto, 347; changes in con- 
stitution of, 356 to 360; as to 
Federation movement, 357, 360 

King's College, Cambridge, 133 

Kingsdown, Lord, see Leigh, Pember- 

Kingsford (Historian), 195, 204, 208, 

Kingston, U. C., as to removal of seat 
of Government to, 90 to 92 

Kingston, Lord, 168 

Knight, Thomas (Actor), 80 

Knight-Bruce, Sir J. L., 373 

Knighthood offered, 225 to 227 

Knutsford, Lord, 377 


Lakes, the Canadian, reverses on, in 
war of 1812-15, 64 ; as to naval 
establishments on, 67; import- 
ance of command on, 69 ; interest 
in the early steam navigation on 
Lake Ontario, 331 

Lakes, the English, 121 to 124; the 
Scottish lochs, 124, 125 

Land, grant of, declined, 150 

Latham, Mr., 106, 109, 113 

Law Courts, tee Courts 

Law Journal, 197, 198, 201, 213, 262, 
324 to 328, 403, 451 

Law Society, address from, on retire- 
ment, 397 

Layard, Mr. (M.P.), 369 

Leader, Mr. (M.P.), 299, 312 



Learning, Rev. Mr., 5 
Lefroy, Captain J. H. (afterwards 
General Sir J. H.) (son-in- 
law), 338, 340, 361, 367, 
368,369,: -J, 394 

Chief -Justice, 385 

Mrs. J. H. (daughter), 286, 
338, 340, 364, 368, 887, 

Lady, 450 
Legal opinion, first one given, 69, 


Legislative Council, U. C., see Council 
Leigh, Pemberton (a Lord 

King> s, 389 

Lelii-vi-f. ( 

Le Marcham, Captain. 
L'-riiuix, Lady Sarah. ' 
Levee, the Queen's, 375, 376 
Leyden, 108 

Libel, prosecutions for, 183, 195 
Lichfirld, I'.ishop of, 367 
Lincoln, Bishop <!. 
Lincoln's Inn, enters at, 80, 81 ; 

dinner at, 83 
Listen, John (Actor), 80, 83. 


Literary Fund dinner, 101 
Liverpool, Lord, 97, 151; 
Lockhart, Mr. (M.P.), ! 
Logan, Mr.. HI 

London, journey to, from Ports- 
mouth, 76 to 78 ; card and 
evening parties, 86, 88 ; a Lon- 
don mob, 119; see also 'Journal ' 
(while in England) 
Lord Mayor, procession of, 82, 83 ; 

Easter ball of, 98 
Lords, House of, debate in, 97, 98, 

288, 374 

Louis the XVIII., King, 114 
Lovaine, Lord, 373 
Lowen, Mrs., 80 
Loyal and Patriotic Society, 62, 63, 

Loyalists, The United Empire, 6, 7, 

9, 10, 192, 194, 342, 469 
Ludlow, Chief -Justice, !>:> 
Elizabeth, 184, 185 
,, Frances Mary, 184, 185 

James, 184 to 188 
Lukin, James, 96 
., Robert, 96 
Lunatic Asylum, Toronto, address at 

opening of, 325, 403, 404 
Lushington, Dr., 295 
Lyndhurst, Lord, 84, 156, 221, 271, 
272, 285, 287; as to American 
invaders, 288; The Spectator as 

to him, 297, 298; 301, 307. 866, 

Lynedoch, Lord, 


MACAI 11. (Chief-,) 

Thomas Babington, 296 

Macdondl. ! 

::i, 40 
of Glengarry, services of 

the family of, 27 
Donald, 87 ' 
MacGregor, Sir Duncan 
Maclnnes, C. S. (grandson), 
Mrs. Donald (daughter), 

Mackenzie, W. L. <1, 202, 

208 : 208, 

209 ; proclamation by. 

MacMahon, Sir J<> 

to ! 

as to the destruction of the 

lonel, 50 

M'Clintock, J. (afterwards Lord Rath- 


M'Doncll, Lord. 306 

M'Kenzie, U 

. 118 


M'Leay, Mr., 118 

Mahon, Lord (afterwards Earl Stan- 
hop- 308 


no. 141. 1 i- 


:stice (after- 
wards Lord Mansfield), 81, 288 
Man.-ion House, Ball a: 



Marriage, with Emma Walker, 135,137 
of Princess Charlotte, 101 
,, of the Queen, 296, 297 

Martin, Baron, 374 

Maryboro', Lord, 286 

Mat-de-Cocagne, the, 114, 115 

Matlock (Heights of Abraham, near), 

Mathews, C. (Actor), 83, 95, 102, 103 

Mauritius, offered C.J.-ship of, 150, 
151, 191 

Maxwell, Sir Herbert, 271 

Medal, war, issue of, see War, 1812-15 

Melbourne, Lord, resignation of his 
ministry, 285 ; resumes office, 
285; 288 

Melrose, 129 

Merritt, William Hamilton, 353 

Merry, family of, 78, 84, 103, 119, 

135, 237, 273, 289, 408 
William (senior), 135, 387 
Elizabeth, 137, 138, 387 
the Rev. Walter, 387, 390 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles (afterwards 
Lord Metcalfe), 263, 284 

Methodist Church, grant of land to 
the, 178 to 180 

Michigan Territory, questions arising 
from conquest of, 55, 60 

Michilimackinac, importance of, 48 

Militia, commissions in, 59; equip- 
ment of the, in 1812, 61 ; sub- 
scription to provide necessaries 
for, 61 ; exertions and patriotism 
of, 64 

Miller, Lieut-Colonel J., 31 

Mills, Arthur, 367, 368 

Milnes, Monckton, 387, 388 

Milton, Lord, 98 

Mission, sent to England on, 147, 148 ; 
thanks of Parliament on return, 
148, 149 

Moffatt, Mr. (M.P.), 380 

Montalembert, Count, 387, 388 

Moodie, Colonel, 310 

Morgiana, voyage in, to England, 73 
to 75 

Morris, Dr. Beverley R., 370 

Colonel Roger, 13, 440 
Mrs. Roger, 13, 440 

Mountain, Colonel Armine, 450 

Munden, J. S. (Actor), 80 

Murchison, Sir R., 389 

Murray, C. K., 81, 83, 84 

Sir George, 57, 69, 72 


NAVY Island, 67 
Newcastle, Duke of, 361, 362 
Newton, Captain, 73, 74 

New Orleans, failure at, 64 

New York, voyage from England to, 

Niagara District, enemy in possession 

of portion of, 55 

,, frontier, armistice on, 58; 
defensive work proposed 
on, 68 
,, Fort George, the ensign of, 

44 ; capture of, 64, 66 
Nichol, Colonel, 41 
Normanby, Lord, letters to, on Cana- 
dian questions, 67, 240, 278, 280 ; 
288, 378 

North-West Territory, disturbances 
in, 139 to 147 ; trials as to these, 
145, 146 

Norton, Captain, 37, 96 
Norwich, visit to, 103 
Notices, obituary, see Obituary 


OBITUARY notices, 402, 454 to 466 ; in 
Law Journal, 451 (note) ; Toronto 
Daily Leader, 454 to 457 ; Daily 
Globe, 457, 458; Kingston Daily 
News and Woodstock Times, 458 ; 
British Standard, Perth, Canada, 
463 to 465; Illustrated London 
Ncivs, 465 ; Guernsey Star, &c., 

Ocko, Mr., collection of paintings, 

Ogdensburg, capture of, 27 

O'Keefe's Tavern, York Assembly 
held at (1814), 66 

O'Neill, Miss, 80 

Ottawa, 310, 330 

Ouseley, Sir W. Gore, 387, 388 

Oviatt, Mr., 94 

Oxford, 87, 108, 349 ; made D.C.L. of, 
152 ; 387, 388 

PAKINGTON, Sir John (afterwards 
Lord Hampton), 273, 285, 287, 
299, 311, 365, 366, 372 

Palmer, Mr. (Artist), 405 

Papineau, Mr., 204 

Paris, visit to, 113 to 118; journey 
from, to Dieppe, 118 

Park, Mr. Justice, 102 

Parke (Baron), 370, 371, 372, 374, 384, 
389, 390 

Parker, C. S., 310 

Parliament, opening of, in London 
(1817), 120; receives thanks of 
both Houses of, in Upper Canada, 



149 ; becomes member for York, 
U.C., 147; his work I] 
view of duty as member of, 1 ( J7, 
: becomes Speaker of Legis- 
lative Council, U.O., I'.' 1 .' 
Patriotic Fund, subscription to, from 


Patteson, Sir John 
Peace with Franc 
,, with Ameri 
n, Lieut., 18 
Peel, Sir Robert, 251', 271, 272; visit 

to, 1 

As to relations with United States 
and maintenance of the connec- 
tion with the B.N.A. Colonies, 
810, ::il ; as to 

Clergy Reserves question, 306; 
also ,305 

Percival, Dudley 

urolith, visit t, 
Philip.- ik, i:< 

Mary, see Morris, Mrs. Roger 

rhifip, 13 

,, Susannah, ce Robinson, Mrs. 


Phillpotts, see Exeter, Bishop of 
Pilkington, Col. 
Platt (Baron), 374 
riattsbur-, failure at, ! 
Plumb, J. H. 

Elizabeth S., see Robinson, 
Mrs.Christopher (daughter- 

Pollock, Sir F. (Judge) 
Pope (Actor), 7'.'. 
Powell, Grant, T.2, r,i> 

John, 14i, I'll 
W. Dummer (Chief -Justice), 

r,i. i-iy, i'."; 
Powis, Lord, 379, 380 
Prevost, Sir George, 69, 88, 89 
Prince Regent, the, at opening of 

Parliament, 120 

Prince of Wales (address to, from 
survivors of War of 1812-13), 40 
Prisoners, trial of, for treason, tee 


Proctor, Colonel, 30, 51 
Propagation of Gospel, Society for, 

7, 379 

Prout, Dr., 28'.), 290 
Purdie (Tom), 128 

Putnam, General Israel, letter of, 
13, 14 


QUEEN, marriage of the (1840), 296, 


Queen's household, ladies of the, 285 
levee, 375, 376 

Queen's Rangers (1st American 
Regt il; services 

of the, 1 1 


Canada during the Re- 
bellion, _'. 

Queenston Heights, battle of, : 
,, colours taken at, ) 

RADST , 375 

, 295 

Randolph, K. 
Kawlinson. Sir 1!> 

Rebellion, the Canadian, as ' 

on Toronto and trial 

BOO ' 2M ; proclamation by 
W. L. Macken. irning 

at the Caroline,! 


sion Act. Lower 


Colb ae re- 

entatives of the Crown at 
this period, 231 to 234 
Reform par- 208 

Religious tolerano 
Religious Denominations Bill, 180, 


Report, Durham, tee Durham 
Reset. -rgy, 171 t. 

! Responsible government, 201, 

| Retirement from C.J.-ship, U.C 
-es, banquf 
on, 39 

Richmond, Duke of 

Duchess of, 156, 287 

Rickards, Sir George, 
Ki'U-au (.'anal, tee Canals 
Ridout, Lieir 

i '' 

Ritchie, Mr., 118 
Kobertson, .1 
Robinson, Augusta, tee Strachan, 

Mrs. J. M. (daughter) 
Colonel Beverley, 3; his 

439, 440, 441 

rley, 12. 89, 90, 
382, 440. 



Kobinson, Charles Walker, Major- 
General (son), commis- 
sion in Rifle Brigade, 
363, 450, 451 

,, Christopher, Secy, of Vir- 
ginia, 3, 382, 430, 436 
to 439, 468 

,, Christopher, " Queen's 

Rangers "(father), 4, 5,8, 


,, Mrs. Christopher (mother), 

14, 17, 448, 468 
Christopher, K.C. (son), 

135, 236, 346, 352, 355 
,, Mrs.Christopher(daughter- 

in-law), 450 

,, Christopher, Chas. (grand- 
son), 355 
Con way, of Virginia, 341, 

,, Emily (daughter), see 

Lefroy, Mrs. J. H. 
Esther (sister), 14, 25, 26, 

449, 468 

General Sir Frederick, 4, 
57, 66, 73, 78; letters 
from, 88, 137, 138 ; 365, 
382, 441, 442, 443; de- 
scribes battle of Vittoria 
and assault of St. Sebas- 
tian, 444 to 448 
Sir Frederick Arnold 

(grandson), 449 

,, Sir James Lukin (son), 
138, 217, 236, 297, 302, 
303, 338, 363, 406 
,, Joanna, see Slade, Mrs. 
,, John, of Cleasby, York- 
shire, 3, 429, 430 
John (Bishop), 3, 382, 428 

to 436, 438 
,, John, President Council 

of Virginia, 3, 438, 439 
John, Speaker, House of 
Burgesses, Virginia, 440 
,, John, of Middlesex Co., 

Virginia, 8 

Robinson, Sir John Beverley, family, 
&c., 1 to 15; birth, 17; life at 
school, 18 to 21 ; as a law student, 
23, 24, 25, 27 ; letters to, from Dr. 
Stuart and Mr. Strachan, 23 to 
25 ; first public service, 28 ; 
volunteers for expedition to De- 
troit, 30, 31 ; escorts prisoners 
to Chippewa, 31; Brock and 
Tecumseh, 31 ; battle of Queen- 
ston Heights, 32 to 39 ; escorts 
prisoners to Kingston, 39 ; pre- 
sent at interment of Brock and 
Macdonell, 40; mentioned for 

services in campaign, 41, 42; 
colours captured, allusion to, 
43 ; close of military service, 45, 
46 ; describes Brock's character, 
47, 51 

Called to the Bar, 53; acting 
Attorney-General, 39, 54, 58; 
first brief, 54 ; first legal 
opinion, 59, 60 ; legal work, pro- 
secutions for treason, 55, 56 ; 
becomes Solicitor-General, 57 ; 
capture of York, 59 ; director, 
Loyal and Patriotic Society, 62 ; 
occupations and amusements in 
York (1813-14), 65, 66 ; on defence 
of Canada, 67, 68 ; effect of wars 
on British connection, 70, 71 ; 
letter from Sir G. Drummond as 
to being called to the English 
Bar, 72 ; voyage to England 
(1815), 73 to 75 ; Portsmouth to 
London, 76 to 78 

Enters at Lincoln's Inn, 81 ; life in 
England, 78 to 104 ; letter from 
Dr. Strachan as to remaining in 
England, 92, 93 ; travels on the 
Continent, 105 to 118 ; trip to 
the English lakes and Scotland, 
121 to 132 ; marriage and return 
to Canada, 135 ; becomes Attor- 
ney-General 136 ; letter from 
Sir G. Drummond recommend- 
ing him, 136, 137; from Lord 
Bathurst as to Selkirk trials, 
146, 147 ; elected member for 
York, 147 ; sent commissioner 
to England, 147 ; thanks of 
Parliament, 148, 149; called to 
the English Bar, 150; urged to 
remain in England, letter from Dr. 
Strachan, 156 to 160, 195, 196 
Presses on Secretary of State 
(in 1822), plan for union of 
all the B.N.A. Provinces, 153 to 
155 ; return to Canada, 160 ; again 
( 1824) presses the above union, 161 
to 166 ; interest in emigration, 1(57 
to 170 ; in Clergy Reserves ques- 
tion, 171 to 178 ; religious toler- 
ance, 178, 180; Alien Bills and 
Mr. Bidwell, 186, 187 ; the Family 
Compact and the U.E. Loyalists, 
192, 193 ; declines C.J. -ship, U.C., 
196; accepts, 197, 199; view of 
Parliamentary obligations, 197 ; 
presentation of plate by electors 
of York, 197 ; work in Executive 
and Legislative Councils, 200, 
201, 315, 317; ceases to sit in, 
200 ; state of Canada during his 
political career, 201 to 208 


Robinson, Sir John Beverley (contd.) 
The Rebellion, Col. Fitzgibbon's 
services in, 2lL', 213; 'trial ..f 
prisoners, 213, 214 ; letter to Sir G. 
Arthur on conduct of official busi- 
ness, 223 to 225; offered knight- 
hood, 2 % J.~ ions illness 
(in 1*37), 1M4, 235; proceeds 
to England (183> 

The Durham Report and Union Bill, 

. his objections and reply 

to, 237 to 250, 278; suggestions 

Subsequently ; 

pub! and the 

Canada Bill," L pposes 

union of the two Car: 

alter undary, 2r, 

but to either a c . of the 

B.N. . ; views as 

to this in. ' 'anada 

and Englaml, _ memo, 

as to N.A. 
Colonies, 'jr. 7 bo 
Journal in England (18 
:;i l : 

It. JVel, L> 
with Duke of Wellington 

:on of 

<-y House. 

Strathfiel i : reso- 

lution Legislative Council, U.C., 
298 ; letter from Sir G. 
Arthur as to exten>ion of his 
leave, 291 ; the Spectator, re- 
marks in it as to him, 
return to Canada pre>~ 

>.;. 312 ; arrives at T. 
address from inhabitants, ::il' 
Judicial life, 313 to 32*; anxiety 
that administration of justice 
should be kept free from political 
bias, :;i 1, :;i."i; a:nl for di_rnity and 
purity of the Bench, 319 ; sketch 
of him by Alan Fairfonl, 
318 ; chai. :iada in his 

lifetime, 31H to 321 ; interest in 
Welland and Rideau Canal ~ 
330 ; in lake navigation, 331 ; in 
Canadian Institute, 331 ; in 
church work, 331 to 
Drummond. fMr F. Head, Sir G. 
Arthur, and Lord Seaton as to 
him, 136, 301 ; home 

life, 338 to 340 ; marriages of his 
children, 338; made C.B.. 
interest in King's College Uni- 
versity, 342 to 346 ; speech at 
opening of, 345 ; as to Wellington 
Scholarships in, 346; as to 

severance of religious ir 

tion from, 

of Trinity College, gpt> 

:noval to of 
from Duke of Wellingtoi 

Created a baron. .l.iurnal 

in Knglai 

; Law 

chay, Cleasby, and Ireland, 

closing y. 

to resign C.J. 

attack of illness, : 

of Appeal 
, addresst 
395 i 

399; funeral, 400, 1 
454 : J, 454 

to 4',ti ; i I him, 

405 ; 

4os ; brothers, sisters, and 
children, 419 to 451; memorial 
St. James* 

Robins. tenant* 


,, Mrs. John B 

Sir John Beverley (grand- 
son , 
Lady (wife). M 


Lady (daughter-in-lav. 

,, Louisa (daughter), <e Allan, 

Mrs. Geor, 

Maria, see Hamilton, Mrs. 
,, Mary (sir ward, 

i^hter), tee Mac- 

s. Donald 
Peter (brother;. 
41, 61, 

335, 8 

Robert, 8, 9 

Sarah (sister) tee Boulton, 
. D'Arcy 

Susanna (sister of Sir Fred- 
erick R.), 444. See also 
Robinson, Mrs. Beverley 



Robinson, Commissary - General Sir 
William, 4, 67, 156, 379, 
381, 382, 443, 444 

William, of Virginia, 4 

William Benjamin (brother), 

14, 449, 468 

Colonel and Mrs. William 
Henry, 90, 365, 379, 381 

W. H. B., 379 
Roebuck, Mr. (M.P.), 369 
Rogers, Samuel (Poet), 102 
Romilly, Sir S., 81 
Ros, de, Lady Georgiana, 293, 295 
Rose, Mr. (M.P.), 98 
Rottenberg, General de, 55 
Royal Society Club, 368 
Russell, Lord John, 239, 240, 241, 246, 

271, 288 ; as to American invaders, 

289 ; 297 ; final interview with, 

300 to 302 

Russell, Miss, 80, 104 
Rutland, Duke of, 274 
Ryan, Sir E., 375 
Ryerson, Rev. Egerton, 208 


SABINE, Colonel S. E., 368 
Sackett's Harbour, failure at, 48, 64 
Salary of Chief- Justice, U.C., changes 

in, 423, 424 

Salisbury, Marquis of, 378 
Salmond, Major, 41 
Sandon, Lord, 274 
Sawyer, Sir Herbert, 119 
Sayre, Rev. John, 4, 15 

Esther, see Robinson, Mrs. 

Christopher (mothe*r) 
Scadding, Rev. Dr., 15 
Schreiber, Rev. Thomas, 450 

,, Adelaide, see Allan, Mrs. 

George W. 
Scotland, travels in, 124 to 132; 

scenery of, 124, 125, 132 
Scott, Sir J. (afterwards Lord Eldon), 


Chief-Justice, 62, 321 
General, 39, 231 
Surgeon, 119 
Sir Walter, 105, 127 ; visit to, 

128 to 132 

Seaton, Lord, letters as to the Re- 
bellion, 229 to 231 ; 273, 280, 281, 
293, 294, 295, 349, 361, 362, 385, 
391 ; character of, 231 
Selby, Captain, 32 
Selkirk, Lord, 138 to 146 
Selwyn, Bishop, 367 
Sewell, Chief-Justice, advocates con- 
federation, 153, 163, 164, 165; 227 

Seymour, Lord C., 95 

Seymour, Lord Francis, 381 

Shaw, Angus, 94 
,, Sir James, 102 

Shea, Sir Martin, 295 

Sheaffe, General Sir Roger, 37, 38, 
39, 41, 54, 55, 58, 63, 88, 96 

Shelton, Mr., 102 

Shepherd, Sir Samuel, 78, 80, 81 
Lady, 80 

Siddons, Mrs., 102, 116 

Sierra Leone, Bishop of, 378 

Simcoe, Colonel, Governor U.C., 8, 9, 
337, 342, 414 to 418 

Sinclair, Mr. (Actor), 83 

Skating, in London, 96 

Slade, Mrs., 446 

Slavery, Act for suppression of, passed 
in U.C. , 322 ; Anderson extradi- 
tion case, 326 

Small, Dr. , 398 
John, 62 

Smith, Rev. Sydney, 288, 376 
,, Mr. and Mrs., 132 

Solvyns, Madame, collection of paint- 
ings, 112 

Somerset, Lord FitzRoy (afterwards 
Lord Raglan), 274, 275, 286, 287 

Sparring, at the Fives Court, 99, 100 

Spencer, Aubrey George (Bishop), 290 

St. George, Major Quetton de, 116 

St. Germain, view from terrace at 
Palace of, 117, 130 

St. James' Church, burning of, 277,278 

Stanhope, Earl, see Mahon 

Stanley, Lord, 274 ; as to defence of 
Canada, 283, 284 ; 287, 378, 381 

Stanton, Lieutenant Robert, 32, 61, 

210, 295 
,, William, 379 

Steele, Colonel, 363 

Stevens, Miss, 83 

Stewart, Sir Charles, 118 
,, Captain, 211 
,, Francis, 335, 336 
Mrs. Charles, 73 

Stirling, Sir James, 298 

Stokes, Anthony (C.J.), 4 

Stoney Creek, victory of, 64 

Strachan, John, Bishop of Toronto 
(previously Rector of Cornwall, 
and Archdeacon of York), 5, 6, 
15, 17 ; his pupils, address to 
them, 19 to 21 ; presentation of 
plate to, 21 ; system at Cornwall 
School, 22 ; letters from, 23, 24, 
25, 61, 62, 92, 93, 157 ; director 
Loyal and Patriotic Society, 61, 
62 ; advocates union, B.A. Pro- 
vinces, 153 ; 191, 287, 288, 289 ; 
consecration of, as Bishop, 290 ; 


rsto.on church : 
interest in King's College, 
exertions to found Trinity 

as to 'family vault, 4(><> ; ' 
Strachan, Mr. (of Aberdeen:. 

Captain J. M. (son-in-law), 

Mrs. J. M. (daughU- 

Stratheden, Lord 

lieldsaye, visit to. '2 l .M, 294 
fctuart. Kev. Dr., 5. 1.1; his friendship 
and kindness, Id, 17 ; letter 
to Mr. Strachan. IN ; to J. B. 

his death, 26 
\ :?7i> 

Sunnier, K: 
Sussex, Duke of, '. 

::hain, Lord, 2-H'. 1241 

TAI;I morial, St. James* 

Talbot, i\.lonel. Wf., .W, ; letters 

from, :W7. 
Talfourd, M 
Talma (Ac.tnr), 116 
Taylor (Actor), '.G 
Taylor, Mr. Fennings, K'l, 217, ::14 
Tecuruseh, 31 
Tennyson, Alfred (af i,.>rd), 

Theatres: Drury Lan K>1; 

Covent Garde 

TluVitre Franvais. 11! 
Theatrical Fund, Covt-nt Garden, 

dinner of the, '.Ti 
Thomas r. Acklam, case of, 1X4, 185, 

Thomas, Frances Mary, fee Ludlow, 

Frances Mary 
Thompson, Mr., 127 

Mr. Poulett, sec Syden- 

ham, Lord 
Thomson, Baron, ^1 

C. E 

Tierney, Georg 

TindaC Sir Nichoi 2, 303 

Todd, Dr., 3H4, 385 
Toronto (formerly York), tee York 
Toronto, University of, see King's 


Treason, prosecutions for, 66, 13fi, LM.'*. 

as to trial of aliens for, 218 

to 222 
Trinity College, University of, :<42 ; 

origin of, 349 ; subscriptions 

towards, 349 ; opening of, 
tinted, 3t' 


syst< .us to 


Turti-i , 

Tupper, Ferdinand Brc- < 

Twining, Mr 

' , 106 
Union, of the two 

ical deadl. 
Of the I 1 ,: erican 

to 1 U) 260; ai 


Durham as to both schemes 

:on gradually carried 

Union Bill (of lv 

.ind attend 

: ter to Lord 


of 'i 

Oxf' irnbridge system, 

::49; Trinity College syttom, 

Tnivcrsity of Toronto, tee King's 


,, Congress c: 


in, Mr. Serjeant, 84 
Vere, .' 
Vernon-Harcourt, Rev. Canon and 


Vestris, Madame. 
Virginia, visit to. 340, 341 




WAKEPIELD, Mr. , 244 

Wales, Prince of: visit to Canada, 
392, 393 ; address to, from 
survivors of War of 1812-15,40 

Walker, Charles, 135 

Walker, Emma, see Robinson, Lady 

Walpole, Mr., 378 

Wandsworth, Cottage at, 292 

War (1812-15), victories of, 64 ; 
colours taken during, 43 to 45 ; 
Bench and Bar, U.C., experience 
in, 46 ; issue of medal for, 31 ; 
medal struck by Loyal and 
Patriotic Society for, 62, 63, 
410 ; too little known in England, 
64 ; ball to celebrate capture of 
Niagara, 66, 411 ; (in Crimea), 
outbreak of, 363 

Warren, Samuel, 370, 376 

Waterloo, visit to field of, 112, 113 

Watson, J. (U. S. Army), 31 

Webster, Daniel, 288 

Weld, Mr., 383 

Welland Canal, see Canals 

Wellington, Duke of, on firm 
execution of the laws in Canada 
(1838), 222 ; difference with Sir 
R. Peel as to union of Canadas, 
271 ; 272, 274, 280 ; on defence of 
Canada, 69, 281 to 284, 309 ; at 
Apsley House, 286, 287 ; 285, 289, 
293; at Strathfieldsaye, 293, 294; 
on importance of Upper Canada, 
294, 308, 309 ; on French and 
English mobs, 294 ; as to " Canada 
and the Canada Bill," 303, 304; 
on party government, 304 ; as 
to Clergy Reserves Bill, 306, 307 ; 
as to Union Bill, 307 to 309 ; his 
interest in Canadian matters, 272, 
308, 309, 310, 330; establishes 
Wellington Scholarships in 
Canada, 352 to 355 

Wellington Scholarships, 346, 352 to 

Wensleydale, Lord, see Parke, Baron 

West Indies, policy as to, 283; 
Jamaica Bill, 284 ; debate in 
House of Lords on, 288 

Westmacott, Mr. Serjeant, 295 

Wharncliffe, Lord, 284 

Wheatstone, Professor, 368 

Whitaker, Rev. Provost, 351, 400, 401 

Whitehall, the Chapel Royal, 44, 84 
Whitmore, Sir George, 295 
Widmer, Dr., 310 
Wilberforce, Archdeacon, 307 

William, portrait of, 305 

Wilder, Mr., 290 
Wilkie (Artist), 127 
Wilkinson, Mr. Spencer, 308 
Willcocks, Mr. (Sheriff), 205 
Willes, Sir J. S., 389, 390 
William and Mary College, Virginia, 

Williams, Captain, 36, 37 

Winant, 41 

Wilmot, Mr., see Horton, Sir Wilmot 
Wilson, Sir Giffin, 171, 172 

Rev. W., 137 
Wilton, Lord, 274, 287, 306 
Windermere, Lake, Lines on, 122, 123 
Window, memorial, 467 ; to Bishop 
Robinson and Christopher Robin- 
son, 436 

Wise, Captain, 119 
Wood, Alexander, 62 

Colonel, 385 

Sir Edward, 429, 430 

Sir W. Page, 370 
Wool (Captain), 39, 230 
Woolwich, 87, 103 
Wynne, Mr. (M.P.), 98 

YARMOUTH, Lord, 95 

York, Duke of, 95 

York (England), Assizes at, 370 to 


,, U.C. (now Toronto), capture 
of, 59; Loyal and Patriotic 
Society formed at, 62, 63, 
410 ; assemblies and ball at, 
(1813-14), 66, 411 to 413; as 
to removal of seat of Govern- 
ment from, and as a military 
post, 89, 91 ; elected member 
for, 147 ; resigns, 195 ; pre- 
sentation of plate from 
electors of, 197 ; advance on, 
during the Rebellion, 209 to 
213 ; foundation of, 336 ; his 
long association with, and 
changes in, within his life- 
time, 320 to 322 

Yorkshire, scenery of, 121 

Young (Actor), 95 

Younghusband, General, 380 

Printed by BALLANTYNB, HANSON & Co. 
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Robinson, Charles Wa 1 

Life of Sir Joh- 
Robinson, Bart